Concord Council OKs police report on use of military weapons

Concord Council OKs police report on use of military equipment

Concord Council OKs police report on use of military weapons
The Transcend Vantage patrol robot is designed to to traverse obstacles such as stairs and doors.

CONCORD, CA (April 18, 2023) — The City Council approved the April 11 Police Department report on its stock of military equipment and each deployment in the past year.

By accepting the report as required by California law, the council acknowledges that the department complied with its own policies for equipment use.

The detailed document lists all equipment that falls under Assembly Bill 481, expected 2023 purchases and each individual use. The department says there haven’t been any complaints or internal investigations related to the use of military equipment in the past year.

“The Concord Police Department retains and employs limited equipment that falls under this legislation and subsequent law to safeguard its community,” Provisional Lt. Kevin Halm wrote in the staff report. “Concord Police Department officers, certified instructional staff and specialized units receive training throughout the year on the use of this equipment.”

A few residents spoke against the department’s use of such weapons, but Mayor Laura Hoffmeister said they are essential in some circumstances.

“I want our Police Department to have the right tools to respond to issues should they ever come up. And I hope and pray that they don’t occur in our community, but you can see what’s happening nationwide with active shooters,” she told the Pioneer after the meeting. “I don’t want our officers to say: ‘We’re waiting for equipment that’s in Livermore and it’ll be here in an hour.’ ”


The military equipment inventory includes:

A Transcend Vantage patrol robot. Equipped with non-recording cameras and a two-way radio, it can climb stairs, open doors and deliver chemical agents.

Unmanned aerial vehicles. Primarily used outdoors during high-risk situations, evidence processing, and search and rescues. “We’ve used drones for murder investigations, locating individuals who have walked away – lost children, lost elderly residents,” Hoffmeister noted.

The Armored Group (TAG) Ford T350 Armored Rescue Van.

Two armored rescue vehicles. Designed to provide ballistic counter-protection during high-risk incidents. The city has already ordered a new Ford T-350 ballistic van for $180,535 to replace an aging van.

Crisis Negotiations Team van and tactical dispatch van. Both donated by County Connection Bus Services.

AR-15 carbine rifles, long rifles and pistol caliber carbines. All used by trained/certified officers during appropriate situations.

Noise/flash devices, chemical agents, PepperBall launchers and projectiles. Used for crowd management, to divert attention or to dislodge barricaded subjects.

Long-range acoustic device. Used by Crisis Negotiations Team to talk with individuals who may be barricaded or otherwise unable to be reached.

Bev Britton
Bev Britton
Copy Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer |

Bev Britton graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of North Dakota and moved to the Bay Area with her soon-to-be husband Jim in 1986. She was features editor at the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek before becoming managing editor of the Contra Costa Sun in Lafayette in 1995. She retired from newsrooms in 2001, but an ad for the Clayton Pioneer drew her back in. The family moved to Lake Wildwood in the Gold Country a few years ago - but working at the Pioneer keeps her in touch with her old neighborhoods in Concord and Clayton.