San Diego City Council approves an ordinance that permits SDPD to continue utilizing military equipment in the future. 

The ordinance was given the green light on Tuesday, which also allows San Diego Police Department to continue to request additional military gear apart from what is already in use. 

This comes as a response to a recent state law that was passed back in September of last year, which obligates law enforcement agencies to get authorized for any military equipment acquisition. 

The bill targets a boost in transparency, oversight, and accountability in regards to the usage of military gear by police departments. 

On Tuesday, San Diego police Captain Daniel Grubbs expressed to City Council the importance of this type of equipment regarding the public safety of San Diegans. 

“The San Diego Police Department is respectfully asking this council to certify the continued use of the safety equipment outlined in this presentation,” Grubbs said. “Each piece of equipment is critical for the department's ability to maintain public safety.” he added. 

However, up to a dozen people spoke up to City Council on Tuesday against the usage of military equipment by police, expressing their concern of law enforcement potentially using this type of equipment against local demonstrators during peaceful protests. There are growing concerns over a potential scenario where military equipment gives authorities an oppressive effect in local neighborhoods, in particular communities where minorities reside. 

City Council president Sean Elo-Rivera expressed his appreciation for those attendance who weighting-in on the matter, stating that our local residents deserve to have a say on such a complex subject. 

“Safety is universally needed and subjectively felt,” said Sean Elo-Rivera. “What a department has in terms of equipment may make a certain segment of the community feel safer, and another part of the community less safe. “This is complex and important stuff, and our communities deserve a chance to weigh in.”

The approved ordinance will make a return to City Council in two weeks from now for the final approval on the matter. 

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