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Assembly Bill Would Require Hearings On Police Military Gear

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio
 

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

(AP) - California communities must hold public hearings before their police departments accept military equipment such as tanks and grenade launchers under a bill approved in the state Assembly.

AB36 advanced Monday, hours after President Barack Obama announced the federal government would stop providing some combat-style gear to local law enforcement.

Police departments have received surplus military equipment for decades but the practice faces scrutiny after police recently responded to demonstrations in armored trucks.

Bill supporters say public hearings will reduce tensions between communities and the police. Opponents say it may hurt agencies' ability to receive items such as handcuffs and search-and-rescue helicopters.

Democratic Assemblywoman Nora Campos of San Jose says she'll amend her bill to limit it to tanks and large equipment.

AB36 passed 52-to-11 and heads to the Senate.