During today’s (Tuesday, July 7) meeting of the Common Council, file #200274, a resolution directing that Police Department purchases of crowd-response, crowd-control, military-grade and militaristic equipment be approved by the Common Council, was adopted by the full Council. The item was introduced by Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs and is co-sponsored by Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderman Nik Kovac, Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II and Alderman José G. Pérez.
“This legislation was birthed out of community conversations and a desire for the public to know more about militaristic equipment and ensure greater oversight of the procurement process,” said Alderwoman Coggs.
The resolution states that the Police Department shall obtain approval by resolution from the Common Council before seeking to purchase, requisition or otherwise procure military-grade equipment from the city purchasing director using budgeted funds. Additionally, the Police Department must obtain approval by resolution from the Common Council before it may seek to purchase, requisition or otherwise procure military-grade equipment using special funds.
Military-grade equipment subject to this resolution is defined as any weapon or equipment typically employed by military entities in the course of armed conflict or for protection during an armed threat. Equipment intended for daily and routine use by a police officer in the course of executing normally assigned duties is not subject to this resolution.
“This is one small effort we can enact to provide more transparency with the public,” said Alderwoman Coggs. “I want to thank my colleagues for supporting this resolution and I want to thank those who continue to make their voices heard.”