Woodland City Manager Denies Government Report Showing Transfer of Bayonets To Police

Woodland city officials say their police department never requested nor received more than a dozen military bayonets from the federal government, despite a recent report from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

A recent list of excess military supply transfers to law enforcement agencies across the state shows that fifteen bayonets were transferred to Woodland police under the federal government’s controversial 1033 program. But City Manager Paul Navazio says that never happened and that the city’s police would have no use for the ancillary weapons. The city does admit to receiving other supplies, however, including grenade launchers and knives, which it says are needed for the removal of illegal marijuana plants. Navazio believes some of those knives may have been erroneously identified as bayonets in the database.

Woodland’s proactive response comes amidst mounting pressure on local governments to explain their acquisition of numerous military-grade supplies under the 1033 Program. Faced with that pressure, the cities of Davis and San Jose recently decided to dispose of mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles that they acquired from the Pentagon. 

In addition to concerns over the increasing militarization of local police forces, questions have also been raised over their ability to keep track of the items they receive. Several law enforcement agencies in California have lost some of the surplus supplies they were given, resulting in their suspension from the program.

The 1033 Program was established in the early 1990s as part of the War on Drugs and allows for the conveyance of surplus military supplies to local police agencies. The Obama administration has ordered a review of the 1033 Program. Members of Congress have also called for curtailment of the plan.

Read more about the City of Woodland’s reaction to the recent data here.