We need your support to withdraw the Berkeley Police Department from Urban Shield 2018!

On June 4, the Berkeley City Council Urban Shield Subcommittee passed the following motion by a vote of 3-1:

Suspend Berkeley’s participation in the vendor show and BPD’s participation in the tactical scenarios in 2018 pending timely reevaluation of the tactical-related offerings from the county in 2019.

The suspension should not extend to the table top exercises (Yellow Command), the CERT exercises (Green Command), the Community Preparedness Fair (Gray Command) or to public safety seminars at Urban Shield.

The recommendation will come before the City Council at its July 24, 2018 meeting. Mark this date on your calendar and plan to be at the meeting!

This is a victory for those of us who oppose Berkeley’s continued participation in Urban Shield’s 2018 SWAT Team war games. It follows closely on the victory of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors’ decision to end Urban Shield as of 2019.

Already the Berkeley Police Department is mobilizing to defeat this recommendation, playing on Trumpian fears of terrorism and crime. We need to mobilize the community to support Mayor Arreguin and Council Members Cheryl Davila and Kate Harrison in their principled vote to end Berkeley’s participation in the 2018 Urban Shield SWAT competition and vendor show.

Here is what Berkeley residents can do to make sure the Berkeley City Council passes this motion:

1. Show up at the last Urban Shield subcommittee meeting on Wed, June 13th, 3 pm, at City Hall,  2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, to speak briefly at public comment before the subcommittee

2. Email your support for the motion to the Berkeley City Council at council@cityofberkeley.info

Here is a sample email:

Dear City Council Members,

I support the Urban Shield Subcommittee motion on Berkeley’s participation in 2018 Urban Shield. After a year of research and discussion in public meetings, this motion meets the concerns of all Berkeley residents. It continues Berkeley Fire Department, emergency response staff and volunteer participation in training at Urban Shield 2018 focused on response to those mass disasters most likely to affect Berkeley: wildfires, earthquakes, hazardous material releases and the need to shelter in place. It suspends Berkeley’s participation in the 2018 SWAT scenarios and vendor show, which promote racism, xenophobia and the militarization of our police force. It allows for reevaluation of Berkeley’s participation in 2019, by which time the Alameda County Board of Supervisors will have developed a reconstituted emergency prevention and response training. I urge you to vote to support this recommendation when it comes before the Council.

3. Send an email to the Mayor, Kate Harrison and Cheryl Davila thanking them for their work on the subcommittee:





4. Mark Tuesday, July 24th on your calendar NOW  to be sure to attend the City Council meeting where the subcommittee’s motion will be voted upon.

5.  Share this information with all your friends and neighbors and encourage them to email and show up on 7/24 at the City Council Meeting.