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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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CHPD to host Monday town hall meeting regarding military eqpt


File photo. Citrus Heights police police, including an armored “MRAP,” were seen responding to a reported shooting on Crux Avenue in Citrus Heights on Sept. 26, 2022. // M. Hazlip

Sentinel staff report–
The Citrus Heights Police Department will hold a town hall meeting at City Hall on May 22 to share and invite community input on an annually required report regarding military equipment maintained by the department.

According to a posting on the city’s website, the meeting is slated for Monday from 5-7 p.m., at an unspecified room at City Hall. The annual report on military equipment is required under AB 481, which first went into effect last year.

As reported last year, police say AB 481 broadly defines military equipment in a way that “does not necessarily indicate equipment that has been used by the military,” noting that such items include drones, rifles, armored vehicles, pepper balls, and some less-lethal shotguns and projectile launchers. The legislation was intended to ensure residents have an opportunity to comment on and are aware of their Police Department’s purchase and use of military-style equipment.

In Citrus Heights, the Police Department’s most high-profile military vehicle is an MRAP, or Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle, which many departments received at little to no cost as part of a military surplus program. Such vehicles are specified in the policy as being allowed to be used in Citrus Heights, along with “tracked armored vehicles” and “weaponized aircraft, vessels, or vehicles of any kind.”

The Police Department’s 14-page annual report includes multiple drones, which it said were used for fatal traffic collision photography as well as to assist SWAT and assist in determining the location of “potentially dangerous subjects.” The report also says the department did not receive any complaints or concerns about its drones.

The report also contains similar information about “flash bangs,” rifles, robots, and long range acoustic devices. None of the items listed had any complaints or concerns reported in 2022, according to the report.

The full report can be viewed on the city’s website. (click here)

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