REDDING, Calif. — In a recent meeting on the use of military equipment, the Redding Police Department (RPD) revealed information about the deployment and importance of various resources defined as “military equipment” under Assembly Bill 481.
The meeting highlighted the significant role these assets play in ensuring public safety and effective law enforcement operations.
One of the main pieces of equipment discussed was the BearCat, which falls under the classification of an armored rescue vehicle in accordance with AB 481. The Redding Police Department revealed that the BearCat had been deployed 24 times between April 22nd and May 23rd .
The incidents included ten patrol responses, nine public events, three SWAT operations and two requests from outside agencies. The department clarified that the BearCat is used sparingly, typically reserved for specific events that require its specialized capabilities.
Notably, the Redding Police Department is the only agency in Shasta County to possess this armored vehicle, and Tehama County also has one.
Another piece of equipment discussed during the meeting was the Mobile Command Center, a versatile asset used by multiple agencies, including Redding Electric Utility and the Redding Fire Department. The Redding Police Department stated that aside from training exercises, they had employed the mobile command center for five public events, a chemical spill incident and a SWAT operation. The importance of this resource lies in its ability to facilitate effective communication and coordination during complex and large-scale incidents, according to Redding Police.
The meeting also highlighted the importance of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, which have become valuable tools for law enforcement agencies. The Redding Police Department revealed that UAVs were deployed a total of seventy-six times between April 22nd and May 23rd. Most of these cases were attributed to investigation, search and arrest warrants, crime scene documentation and assistance to outside agencies.
As the Redding Police Department reviewed the deployment and effectiveness of these military equipment resources, they emphasized the importance of maintaining access to them.
At the meeting, the RPD highlighted its role in ensuring the peaceful resolution of incidents with a focus on de-escalation and the safety of all persons involved.
Going forward, the Redding Police Department is awaiting City Council approval of the ordinance, which will determine the fate of their continued use of military equipment under AB 481.