ASUC recommends banning of Urban Shield trainings from UCPD at meeting

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The ASUC Senate passed a resolution Wednesday night recommending the banning of Urban Shield trainings from UCPD.

Urban Shield is a comprehensive training and assessment program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that aims to improve the level of preparedness for emergency response situations.

The ASUC resolution takes issue with the program for conducting trainings that, according to the resolution, show patterns of racial profiling and denounces the initiative as contributing to militarization of local police departments.

The resolution, drafted by ASUC Senator Boomer Vicente and co-sponsored by some members of the Berkeley Police Review Commission, states UCPD’s participation in Urban Shield adds to the “significant fear growing among citizens.”

“Ceasing UCPD participation in Urban Shield would be an important step to demilitarize the university,” said John Lindsay-Poland, co-sponsor of the resolution and wage peace coordinator at a local office of advocacy organization American Friends Service Committee in an email. “UCPD should commit to institutionalizing training that is sensitive to communities of color…and remove assault weapons, armored personnel carriers, and other militarized material from its deployment equipment.”

Additionally, an ASUC committee also passed SR 41 — a resolution that aims to establish a working group to make BART transportation more affordable for students. According to the resolution’s primary sponsor Student Action Senator Andre Luu, the bill will benefit students because students will now have an “institutionalized wing of the ASUC dedicated to exploring ways to make the BART student discount a reality.”

Last semester, the resolution was postponed indefinitely in order for Luu and the ASUC External Affairs Vice President Marium Navid’s office to refine the resolution.

The senate also passed a motion to change the senate meeting start time from 7:45 p.m. to 7:20 p.m.

Sujin Shin covers student government. Contact her at [email protected].