The Sheriff’s Department of Alameda County, California, is among the departments that have sent delegates to Israel. Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern has served as Sheriff since 2006 until the present, and attended a training at the Nesh-AR Training Institute for Counter-Terrorism in 2004. Sheriff Ahern also helped found the Urban Shield Expo after his training in Israel. The “YaMaM”, an Israeli Border Police “counter-terrorism” unit, participated in Urban Shield for several years. The Israeli Border Police trained alongside the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and other police forces worldwide, including the Oakland Police Department in Alameda County, winning some of the expo’s competitions in 2010 and 2011. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents also participated in Urban Shield’s SWAT competition in 2017. Urban Shield received funding from private military contractor Blackwater (now Academi), and weapons makers TASER and BAE Systems.
After nationwide criticism of Urban Shield, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors was pressured to mandate a set of principles and guidelines that Urban Shield must comply with. As a result, a taskforce was created to assess the impacts of Urban Shield on the community. In response, the Stop Urban Shield Coalition released a damning report card in which they found that Urban Shield failed or was insufficient at addressing the concern areas put forth by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.
In 2018, the Stop Urban Shield Coalition successfully campaigned to end Urban Shield “as currently constituted” in Alameda County as of 2019. However, the militarized practices and trainings for law enforcement that Urban Shield represents have not ended.