"Remind Them to Keep it in Mind"
On July 12th, an Alameda County Public Protection Meeting was held at 10AM. Led by Supervisor and Chair of the Public Protection Committee Richard Valle, the agenda included a presentation by Captain Pace Stokes from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office regarding the 2018 Urban Shield "planned activities." The Genesis Leadership Council has supported efforts to stop Urban Shield since 2016 because of the danger to public safety that Urban Shield poses. As we see it, Urban Shield represents a move towards more militarized policing.
After the presentation concluded, Captain Stokes answered questions posed by Supervisor Valle and the public in regards to Urban Shield and its current intentions:
Supervisor Valle asked how community observers who are critical of Urban Shield will be accommodated to which Captain Stokes answered saying no accommodations would be made for the "safety of the public." Throughout public comment, the people continuously asked if community members can observe. Captain Stokes refuses to consider this.
Captain Stokes was not able to answer how the attendees of the Urban Shield event are chosen with their human rights views in mind.
No scenarios will include how to respond to activism or protests.
According to Captain Stokes, about half of the scenarios are in regard to terrorist preparedness.
When asked about deescalation policies, Captain Stokes knows about some deescalation programming but is unsure how many scenarios are focused on deescalation.
After Supervisor Valle prompted Captain Stokes, we learned third party specific scenario compliance team evaluators would measure whether someone did well in a certain scenario or whether they can approach the scenario some other way.
There was no answer for how to deal with trauma of the people after an emergency.
Many members of the public asked about racial stereotyping as a criteria involved within the planned activities to which Captain Stokes said they we will "remind them to keep it in mind."
The motto for Urban Shield this year is: Real Time Training for Real World Events. Above is the final photo included within the presentation for Urban Shield. It is clear certain bodies, those of color, immigrants, and working class people, are often targeted by law enforcement. Captain Stokes seemed to give off the impression the implicit bias training was given to Urban Shield members (unclear who and how many attended) and this would be the extent of the training. What type of environment does this create racially? What is the priority for this year's Urban Shield planned activities? What impression does this photo communicate about Urban Shield?
Receiving almost six million dollars since 2007 from the Department of Homeland Security, none of this money is invested within community preparedness, public health, and post trauma. Genesis wants to invest in bringing communities together in preparation for an emergency situation rather than depending and militarizing law enforcement that can consequently hurt our communities. Genesis continues to support stopping Urban Shield.