** Alameda County Sheriff's business relationship with Urban Shield and Cytel Group [link]
"Oakland will not host Urban Shield next year, Jean Quan says"2014-09-07 by Hamed Aleaziz for "The San Francisco Chronicle" [http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-will-not-host-Urban-Shield-next-year-5738774.php]:
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has announced that Urban Shield, a trade show and training exercise for law enforcement and emergency crews, will no longer be held in the city.
The four-day event, which costs $1 million and is funded by the federal government, brings about 200 law enforcement organizations to the area, mostly from city and county police agencies. Emergency crews - nurses, ambulance workers and others - also attend the event.
Hundreds protested this year's event, a combination of a trade show with heavy weapons and emergency preparedness drills, Friday in Oakland.
The militarization of police forces has become a national topic of debate after police officers in Ferguson, Mo., confronted crowds of citizens protesting the shooting of an unarmed black teenager last month.
"As to Urban Shield itself: Urban Shield is a regional preparedness training exercise for law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services and has been held in Oakland for the past two years. The event will not be held in Oakland next year," Quan said in a statement Friday. "The City Administrator's Office will be asking our agent not to pursue another contract."
But officials from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, which coordinates the conference, hit back at Quan's statement.
"Mayor Quan has had little to no involvement with Urban Shield. She does not have the authority to tell Urban Shield or anyone that they can't come into the City of Oakland," said Sgt. J.D. Nelson, a spokesman for the office.
"We recognize that she can influence the Oakland convention center, but we find it amazing that the mayor of Oakland does not want better training for the cities' first responders nor the hotel tax revenue, sales tax revenue, and low crime rate in the downtown area that Urban Shield and its 5,000-plus attendees has provided in the last few years to the City of Oakland," he said.
The office started the event, which is now in its eighth year.
Nelson said if Oakland doesn't want them, they will be "more than happy to bring these benefits to some other area."
Quan posted the statement on her Facebook page. Before her message on Urban Shield, she noted that in the wake of Ferguson, the city had received questions on military hardware in the Police Department. "It's important to note that OPD has no military surplus hardware at all, and no fully-automatic weapons," she said.
"There are good people on all sides of these issues," she said, "working hard every day to create a safer Oakland with stronger relationships between our hardworking officers and our inspiring communities."