AB 481 Compliance - Military Equipment Use Policy

Across the system, University of California Police Departments are working to establish policies related to use and acquisition of military-style equipment. These policies aim to comply with California Assembly Bill 481, which was signed into law in 2021.

What is AB 481?

AB 481 requires California law enforcement agencies to obtain approval of a Military Equipment Use Policy by their applicable governing body prior to taking certain actions related to the funding, acquisition, or use of military equipment as defined by the legislature.

The UC Board of Regents is the governing body for the ten UC Police Departments.


AB 481 states no later than May 1, 2022, a law enforcement agency seeking to continue the use of any military equipment acquired prior to January 1, 2022, shall commence a governing body approval process in accordance with this section.

If the governing body does not approve the continuing use of military equipment, including by adoption pursuant to this subdivision of a military equipment use policy submitted pursuant to subdivision (b), within 180 days of submission of the proposed military equipment use policy to the governing body, the law enforcement agency shall cease its use of the military equipment until it receives the approval of the governing body in accordance with this section.

In seeking the approval of the governing body pursuant to subdivision (a), a law enforcement agency shall submit a proposed military equipment use policy to the governing body and make those documents available on the law enforcement agency’s internet website at least 30 days prior to any public hearing concerning the military equipment at issue.

Promoting Transparency

To help guide this process and create transparency for our community, each UC Police Department has established a webpage to provide all required materials including draft policy, current applicable equipment, and full text of the bill.