Stop UCPD from procuring a "BearCat"!
  • Petitioned John Wilton

This petition was delivered to:

VC of Administration and Finance
John Wilton
Chief of University of California Police Department (UCPD)
Chief Mitch Ceyala
AVC Business and Administration
Ron Coley
Chancellor
Robert Birgeneau
California State House

Stop UCPD from procuring a "BearCat"!

    1. Elliot  Goldstein
    2. Petition by

      Elliot Goldstein

      Berkeley, CA

  1.  
  2.   
July 2012

Victory

After more than 1,300 people signed UC Berkeley student Elliot Goldstein's petition opposing the school's purchase of an armored vehicle for campus police, UC Berkeley Chancellor, Berkeley Mayor and Albany Mayor released a joint statement saying that UCPD would not be procuring a Lenco BearCat! This is a victory for community's putting pressure on police and holding agencies accountable. This local decision also runs against the growing trend in police militarization across the country.

We the undersigned, students, faculty, and citizens are outraged by the non-transparent and undemocratic decision of the University of California Police Department (UCPD) and Berkeley Police Department (BPD) to procure a "BearCat" armored vehicle.

We hereby demand that UCPD desist from being the agency to procure the BearCat, and that BPD take responsibility for procurement and thereby a vote by the Berkeley City Council.

This military grade armored vehicle is not appropriate to have on any college campus. It is more appropriate for war than community policing. Such a decision must be brought before the Berkeley City Council under democratic means.

Background:

The militarization of police is an alarming trend. This petition is a local call to action to prevent a university police department from acquiring an urban assault vehicle known as a "BearCat"

The Berkeley Police Department (BPD) was the lead agency in writing a grant to the Homeland Security Department for a Lenco BearCat with hydraulic ram costing over $200,000.00. The BearCat is a class of armored urban assault vehicles that are a booming trend to possess for American police forces. This armored vehicle is said to be shared between the UC Police Department (UCPD), BPD, and Albany PD.

After being awarded the grant from the Department of Homeland Security, the Berkeley Police Department asked the UC Police Department to take the lead on procuring the BearCat. UCPD is a state agency while BPD is a city agency. The Berkeley City Council would normally had to have authorizing this grant process, however because UCPD took charge in procurement, this armored vehicle is coming into Berkeley without any democratically elected body's approval. Only through a California Public Records Act request by a City Council member was this shadowy move brought to light.

Within the UC Berkeley Administration, Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance John Wilton is ultimately responsible for UCPD and therefore his department has the capability to stop this armored urban assault vehicle coming onto the UC Berkeley campus.

Picture of BearCat:

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Nash_Bearcat.jpg&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nash_Bearcat.jpg&h=1143&w=1938&sz=947&tbnid=8LqVziTD2oeaMM:&tbnh=71&tbnw=120&zoom=1&usg=__345224Dj2i9pWwrU88o6XMcuWF4=&docid=jHzzMbnOp5hgGM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=U2HrT4LTEKPc2gW2o9jbAQ&ved=0CFYQ9QEwBA&dur=773

More Readings:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/sunday-review/have-american-police-become-militarized.html?pagewanted=all

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/11/how-the-war-on-terror-has-militarized-the-police/248047/

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 1,000 signatures
    2. Victory! UCPD and BPD will not be procuring a BearCat!

      Elliot  Goldstein
      Petition Organizer

      Dear Friends,

      Yesterday the UC Berkeley Chancellor, Berkeley Mayor and Albany Mayor released a joint statement saying that UCPD would not be procuring a Lenco BearCat! This is a victory for community's putting pressure on police and holding agencies accountable. This local decision also runs against the growing trend in police militarization across the country.

      This would not have been possible without progressive Berkeley City Council members standing up and asking questions about Berkeley Police Department's involvement in the acquisition of the BearCat. It also would not have been possible without your voice.

      Thank you,
      Elliot

    3. Reached 750 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Amina Mama DAVIS, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      Are the authorities trying to create a combat-zone??? Escalation is no way to deal with peaceful protests. The police should not be too afraid to walk on the campuses - the evidence before us indicates that they are already overzealous and OVER-EQUIPPED for dealing with the peaceful exercise of democratic freedoms. The global experience of using tank-like vehicles points to the fact that they are provocative and as unhelpful as the toxic chemical sprays deployed on the Davis campus.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Evlyn Andraade BERKELEY, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      This is crazy money being spent when other places need it more

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Marcia Berman BERKELEY, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      After this, where do we put the concentration camps and the ovens? Remember who we are...a free people allowed to peacefully assemble and protest. No armoured vehicles anywhere in Berkeley. Shades of Hitler. Has no place anywhere in America.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Hank Silver BERKELEY, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      There is no need for an amored vehicle in an educational envionment which UC Berkeley purports to be. Small PD's such as Berkeley and Albany (?!) shouldn't such vehicles.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Eros Hoagland BERKELEY, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      this is the wrong approach for community policing.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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