Reading Room

Urban Shield Comes to the Tri-Valley

The next set of Urban Shield exercises will take place at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds beginning on Friday, September 11 and ending with a banquet on Monday, September 14, 2015.

What is Urban Shield? Urban Shield is a conference and exposition for police departments featuring SWAT training, national and transnational police networking, and weaponry marketing. Companies from around the world use the conference to hawk the kind of military-grade equipment that shocked much of the country when it was used in Ferguson, Missouri. Urban Shield is coordinated by the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), and is a key program in the extreme militarization of police departments as seen in Ferguson, Baltimore, and other communities nationwide.

What can you do? According to the schedule, below, the point of contact for Urban Shield in Pleasanton is an Alameda County employee. You can write to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, or attend a meeting, and tell them to cut all funding for Urban Shield. If you are a Pleasanton resident, speak to your City Council about Urban Shield. The overarching issue is the negative effect of militarizing police departments. Remind your local municipalities and county officials, “If all you have is a hammer, the whole world begins to look like a nail.” Militarizing police is the wrong way to go and may lead to more, not less, violence.

Click here for the advertised schedule for the Urban Shield exercises in Pleasanton