Berkeley Should Not Participate In The Militarized Police Aspects Of Urban Shield

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Update: On May 16, the Stop Urban Shield Coalition shut down the Berkeley City Council meeting at 12:45am (actually on May 17). New special meeting to be scheduled. It will be on June 20 at 6:00pm at Longfellow Middle School at 1500 Derby Street. 

BERKELEY SHOULD NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE MILITARIZED-POLICE ASPECTS OF URBAN SHIELD

Urban Shield has been staged yearly in Alameda County since 2007. The grant money to manage it flows from the Department of Homeland ultimately to the Alameda County Sheriff who is responsible for all aspects of the extravaganza. The terms of the grant money stipulate that everything associated with UASI (and hence Urban Shield) must have “a nexus to terrorism” – an important criticism.

Urban Shield has three parts: A weapons and equipment expo, a set of presentations, seminars and talks, much like other conventions, and a set of training exercises.  Some of the training exercises are for non-police emergency responders, while others, the ones most objected to, are for police department SWAT teams. These SWAT teams, from around the Bay, the country and the world compete for points as they move from scenario to scenario.

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2017 Bay Area UASI Equipment Requests

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From a public records terrorist.

License Plate Readers:
  • Novato PD wants $25,388 for two stationary license plate readers
  • Walnut Creek PD wants $109,897 for stationary license plate readers.
  • Contra Costa County Sheriff wants $225,253.19 for mobile and trailer license plate readers
Skynet Project (includes video surveillance and LPR)
  • Solano Co. Sheriff/OES wants $2,080,944.60 to “to observe suspects and suspect vehicles in order to apprehend major offenders before they leave the county.  Unfortunately, one person monitoring 5 lanes of freeway speed traffic, assuming they even got there in time, is difficult.  This project would allow remote viewing and LPR technology to more accurately determine exactly when a suspect or vehicle has passed a beacon and give us surveillance to better apprehend or predict their behavior.”
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Oakland’s Cell Tower Simulator (Stingray) Policy is the Gold Standard.

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Brian Hofer writes to the Oakland City Council, describing the Cell Phone Tower Simulator (aka Stingray) Use Policy the Oakland Privacy Advisory Committee and the Oakland Police arrived at.  The policy was adopted by the Oakland City Council at their February 7th, 2017, meeting.

 

There is no policy regarding cell site simulators in existence even remotely close to Oakland’s, as to the narrowness of allowable use, oversight, and transparent reporting. Although I was proud of what we accomplished with Alameda County in breaking new ground, the Oakland policy far exceeds all standards at the federal, state, or local level:

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Reining in and Raining on the Surveillance State

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Groundbreaking legislation that will put limits upon the local surveillance state is up for consideration in the Bay Area these next few months. With a new administration being handed the vast resource of existing Federal surveillance capabilities, it is more crucial than ever that localities understand what their police are doing in this regard and take measures to protect the civil liberties of the people…

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Read the full op-ed we wrote that begins as above, published in the Oakland Post

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