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Letter to City Council
To: Santa Cruz City Council
On December 9 the Santa Cruz City Council passed a Resolution to accept a Homeland Security Grant in the amount of $251,293 for the purchase of a regional emergency response and rescue vehicle. The fact that this Resolution was passed without the opportunity for full and fair pubic comment is unacceptable. Many residents of our community are concerned that the acquisition of the vehicle known as a Lenco Bearcat raises important questions about the progressive militarization of local law enforcement and does not accurately reflect the views and opinions of the citizens of Santa Cruz.
We the undersigned call upon of City Council Members to join with their fellow elected representatives in Berkeley, San Jose and Davis in taking the principled stand to rescind the Resolution accepting the Homeland Security grant and "Give Back the Bearcat". We also call upon our elected officials to schedule a special session of City Council so that the citizens of Santa Cruz will the opportunity for a full, fair and transparent discussion about the issue of militarization of local law enforcement.
Why is this important?
Many small to medium sized municipalities are being progressively militarized through programs like the Department of Defense 1033 Program and are in danger of becoming agencies that adopt strategies to impose order rather than to protect the public order.
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Campaign created by Steve Pleich