Military Equipment Use

Assembly Bill 481 - 
Military Equipment Funding, Acquisition and Use Policy

On September 30, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 481 into law. This law directs law enforcement agencies to establish rules for the funding, acquisition and/or use of military equipment. The full text of AB 481 is available here.

Requirements of AB 481
AB 481 requires each law enforcement agency's governing body to adopt a written military use policy by ordinance in a public forum by April 30, 2022, in order to continue the use of this previously acquired equipment effective May 1, 2022. To help guide this process, the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) has provided the Authority’s military use policy for our community review.
The Oakland Housing Authority Police Department (OHAPD) will prepare an Annual Report that includes the use of military equipment, any complaints received, any internal audits or other information about violations of its Military Equipment Use policy. This report, and any associated information, will be published on the OHAPD website. The first Annual Report was presented and distributed at the May 2023 OHA Board of Commissioners Meeting.

Public Input Regarding AB 481
Under AB 481 and in the interest of transparency, the Oakland Housing Authority Police Department has uploaded a draft of the Military Equipment Policy on this website 30-days prior to a public meeting to satisfy the requirements of AB 481. The public hearing will be held on July 25, 2022 in the OHA Board of Commissioners Room located at 1619 Harrison Street, Oakland, CA. 

In addition, members of the OHAPD will be presenting the draft of the Military Equipment Policy to members of the Authority’s Resident Advisory Board on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. 

Furthermore, if any member of the public with complaints or concerns regarding specific equipment may contact Captain Luther DuPree, the OHAPD Field Operations Commander, at (510) 535-3157, or e-mail him at   Members of the public can also submit comments or concerns to the OHAPD through e-mail at ​

AB 481 Definition of Military Equipment
The Assembly Bill has designated the following categories of items as military equipment. The Oakland Housing Authority Police Department has or has access to equipment that meets the criteria for five (5) of the 15 categories (categories 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, bolded below).

​Category 1 ​Unmanned, remotely piloted, powered aerial or ground vehicles​​.
​Category 2 ​Mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles or armored personnel carriers. 
Category 3 ​High mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV), two-and-one-half-ton trucks, five-ton trucks, or wheeled vehicles that have a breaching or entry apparatus attached.
​Category 4 ​Tracked armored vehicles that provide ballistic protection to their occupants and utilize a tracked system instead of wheels for forward motion. 
Category 5 ​Command and control vehicles that are either built or modified to facilitate the operational control and direction of public safety units.
​Category 6 ​Weaponized aircraft, vessels, or vehicles of any kind.
​Category 7 ​Battering rams, slugs, and breaching apparatuses that are explosive in nature.
​Category 8 ​Firearms of .50 caliber or greater, excluding standard issue shotguns.
​Category 9 ​Ammunition of .50 caliber or greater, excluding standard issue shotgun ammunition.
​Category 10 ​Specialized firearms and ammunition of less than .50 caliber, including assault weapons as defined in Sections 30510 and 30515 of the Penal Code, with the exception of standard issue service weapons and ammunition of less than .50 caliber that are issued to officers, agents, or employees of a law enforcement agency or a state agency.
​Category 11 ​Any firearm or firearm accessory that is designed to launch explosive projectiles.
​Category 12 ​Flashbang devices and munitions containing tear gas or oleoresin capsicum, excluding standard, service-issued handheld pepper spray.
​Category 13 ​Acoustic shockwave, microwave weapons, water cannons, and the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD).
​Category 14 ​The following projectile launch platforms and their associated munitions: 40mm projectile launchers, “bean bag,” rubber bullet, and specialty impact munition (SIM) weapons.
Category 15 ​Any other equipment as determined by a governing body or a state agency to require additional oversight.
The Oakland Housing Authority Police Department and its members recognize and respect the value of all human life and dignity without prejudice to anyone. Vesting officers with the authority to use reasonable force and to protect the public welfare requires monitoring, evaluation and a careful balancing of all interests. Access to this equipment by sworn members of the OHAPD provides officers options to safeguard lives, ensure safety, and protect civil liberties of all citizens. 

Note: All members of the Oakland Housing Authority Police Department are required to adhere to applicable laws and departmental policies related to the use of force. These policies are available to review on the 
Oakland Housing Authority Police Department webpage by clicking here.