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Reply From Sheriff's Office Regarding Cytel Group, LLC / Urban Shield

by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com )
James Baker of the Cytel Group has not responded to my email request regarding questions about the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voting to approve an agreement with the Sheriff's Office and Cytel Group, LLC, regarding Urban Shield. However, a copy of the email to James Baker was also sent to Alameda County Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, the Oakland City Council members, and a number of other individuals.

Reply From Sheriff's Office Regarding Cytel Group, LLC / Urban Shield

By Lynda Carson - September 18, 2014

Oakland - On June 7, 2011, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to approve an agreement between the Alameda County Sheriff's Office and Cytel Group, LLC (Principal: Anne M. Baker) for the individual disaster training exercises and/or programs similar to Alameda County's "Urban Shield", and to authorize the Sheriff to receive a license fee of $10,000 from Cytel Group, LLC as payment for the first year of their use of the Urban Shield marks and materials and for each additional year a fee of one percent of the gross revenues collected by licensee or its affiliates for every individual exercise and/or program conducted by the Cytel Group, LLC. Additionally the vote authorized the Sheriff to deposit all fees collected from this agreement into an approved "Urban Shield" cash fund for the purpose of offsetting costs associated with future Urban Shield exercises.

According to the California Franchise Tax Board, a California limited liability company (LLC) is formed by filing "articles of organization" with the California Secretary of State, prior to conducting business in California.

A search of the public records with the Secretary of State in California, reveals that there is no such entity called Cytel Group, LLC filed on record with the Secretary of State presently, or at the time of June 7, 2011, when the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to approve an agreement with the Sheriff's Office and Cytel Group, LLC regarding Urban Shield.

Further search of public records revealed that the status of Cytel Group, LP (Limited Partnership) has been canceled, and that the status of Cytel Group, Inc. is active. Regardless, there are not any records for Cytel Group, LLC on file with the Secretary of State in California.

It appears that the Cytel Group, LLC is a non entity, and does not exist according to the public records with the Secretary of State, despite the fact that the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to approve an agreement with the Sheriff's Office and Cytel Group, LLC, regarding Urban Shield.

In an effort to track down some information to explain why an agreement was approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors between the Alameda County's Sheriff's Office and the Cytel Group, LLC, an entity that does not exist, I sent out an email to James Lester Baker of the Cytel Group. It was reported in the Oakland Tribune that James Baker claims to be the founder of the Cytel Group, and in the same article it also mentions that the Cytel Group is a woman owned company.

James Baker of the Cytel Group has not responded to my email request regarding questions about the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voting to approve an agreement with the Sheriff's Office and Cytel Group, LLC, regarding Urban Shield. However, a copy of the email to James Baker was also sent to Alameda County Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, the Oakland City Council members, and a number of other individuals.

In total, a copy of the email to James Baker of the Cytel Group went out to around 50 individuals or more, and out of the whole group only Alameda County Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern responded to my questions about the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voting to approve an agreement with the Sheriff's Office and Cytel Group, LLC, regarding Urban Shield. None of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors responed to my email requesting information.

It was my hope that someone involved in the deal from the Cytel Group could explain how this was possible, considering that Cytel Group, LLC was not on file in the public records, or listed as a corporate entity with the Secretary of State, in California.

On September 15, 2014, Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern responded to my email request, and said: Lynda, I see that you cc'd me on this email, so I will cc James Baker as well. I do not believe that you are accurate in many of the accusations in the email.  I think I should respond to you because Mr. Baker may be out of the country for an extended period.

It is my understanding that that Cytel Group, Inc. was registered in the Stat of California in August 2010, and still in good standing.  This group was established nearly eight months prior to the license agreement with Alameda County.  I communicate with Mr. Baker on a regulars basis and he has commented on the work he does to maintain all required documents up to date, and that the group does in fact pay their required taxes.

We have had many conversations about his group making the effort to expand the Urban Shield program to other major areas in the country.  He and his group have worked in Boston, Texas, and the District of Columbia.  In doing so, those areas also required that his group produce the required documents related to the business.

He also has provided me with a copy of his article of Incorporation stamped by the State of California.

GJA

Despite my surprise that Alameda County Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern responded to my request for information from James Baker, I was even further surprised that the Sheriff responded on behalf of James Baker even though this appears to be a conflict of interest. I wanted to know what James Baker had to say about the Cytell Group, LLC, regarding the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voting to approve an agreement with the Sheriff's Office and Cytel Group, LLC, involving Urban Shield.

As is, Alameda County Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern totally avoided my questions about the Cytell Group, LLC, and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors have not responded to my request for information regarding the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voting to approve an agreement with the Sheriff's Office and Cytel Group, LLC, involving Urban Shield.

Mayor Jean Quan Claims Urban Shield Is No Longer Welcome In Oakland

In the wake of the nation being horrified by rampant police shootings/killings and the militarization of the police, including the recent militarized police actions in Ferguson, and the notorious police actions that have been taking place in New Mexico, Oakland, and cities all across the nation, in addition to the recent protests against the Urban Shield war games and convention in Oakland recently, on Friday, September 5, 2014, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan announced that Urban Shield will not be back in Oakland next year.

In an announcement, Urban Shield is no longer welcome in Oakland, according to Mayor Jean Quan. According to Mayor Quan, the City Administrator's Office will be asking their agent not to pursue another contract with Urban Shield to have their conference in Oakland.

The recent Urban Shield events in Oakland and the Bay Area took place from September 5, through September 8. It included the largest SWAT training exercise in the world, with 35 SWAT Teams competing. It was a series of militarized war games conducted in a continuous 48 hour exercise hosted by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, with the support of more than 200 local, state, federal, international and private sector partners. Additional support came from the Bay Area Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), and Urban Shield was promoted by the Cytel Group.

During the past two years, as a companion to the militarized Urban Shield events, a convention of major arms dealers selling their militarized weapons to local law enforcement agencies for use in urban combat settings have been held twice downtown, at the Oakland Marriott Convention Center. The latest event held in recent days included an exposition of vendors displaying anything from 3-D printable drones, to combat knives, armored vehicles, sniper rifles, unmanned ground vehicles, anti-terrorism tee shirts, and other militarized items.

The massive Urban Shield military arms weapons convention in Oakland that was held to sell military weapons to local law enforcement agencies, is in addition to the Pentagon's 1033 program which also provides militarized weapons to law enforcement agencies. Militarized weapons including grenade launchers, mine resistant ambush protected vehicles (MRAPS), assault rifles, helicopters, bayonets, combat knives, night-vision equipment, night-vision sniper scopes, airplanes and other militarized items to be used by local law enforcement agencies, and SWAT Teams across the nation. These are militarized weapons that may be used and displayed by local law enforcement agencies and SWAT Teams when they are busy suppressing local populations that protest at City Hall, or when protesters are out in the streets protesting against trigger happy cops, or the weapons may be in use when our school children are being terrified while their grade school is placed under lock-down.

The Urban Shield event held in Oakland is a $1 million five-day event being paid for by the federal government and the military industrial sponsors of Urban Shield. Sponsors pay as much as $500 to $15,000 for a spot at the conference to highlight and demonstrate their militarized products.

A partial list of Urban Shield's sponsors include the Department of Homeland Security, 3M, CISCO, AirCover Integrated Solutions, Armored Mobility Inc., Benchmade Knive Company, Drakontas (Dragon Force C2), Elephant Hunt Clothing (guns & skulls), First Spear, Franklin Armory, International Armored Group, iRobot (unmanned ground vehicles), Mile High Shooting Accessories (snipers rifles), Motorola Solutions Inc., Patriot Ordance Factory Rifles, Raven Crest Tactical (knives), Revision Military, The Armored Group LLC, Voodoo Tactical, Winchester Ammunition, Adamson Police Products, and many other corporations including the Cytel Group, Inc., that specializes in bringing the Urban Shield Program to government regions throughout the U.S. and abroad.

In response to Urban Shield, hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets and blocked the streets of Oakland in recent days to show their opposition to the military demonstration exposition, police training exercises and the militarization of our nation's police forces that have been taking place. California Partnership which is a statewide coalition of groups advocating for policies and programs to bring an end to poverty, organized the protests against Urban Shield.

The Privatization Of Urban Shield

It was back on July 31, 2007, that Urban shield was turned into a money making venture when the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to authorize the Alameda County Sheriff's Office to accept cash sponsorship funds from individuals and corporations to support the militarized training event Urban Shield (Agenda Item 48). The profiteers set up a cash fund that was authorized for the purpose of depositing donations and fees used to offset the costs associated with the militarized training event and war games. The success of the profit making venture resulted in additional militarized Urban Shield events being held and hosted by the Sheriff's Office each year since 2007 in Oakland, and the Bay Area. Additional militarized Urban Shield events are also being held annually in Austin, Texas, Boston, New Orleans and abroad, as a direct result of the actions by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

After the militarized Urban Shield event was proven to be a money maker by using publicly owned assets in the Bay Area for its militarized war games and events, on February 24, 2009, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to authorize the Alameda County Sheriff's Office to enter into an agreement (Agenda Item 30) with BAE Systems, Inc. for the sole purpose of expanding the militarized Urban Shield events in other states across the nation, and abroad. As things turned out, on July 8, 2010 the expanded Urban Shield agreement with BAE Systems, Inc. was terminated by mutual consent because BAE Systems, Inc. was unable to meet the material obligations of the agreement.

Currently, Jerry DeMuro is the CEO of BAE Systems, Inc., formerly known as BAE Systems North America, which is a major subsidiary of the British defense and aerospace company BAE Systems plc, a global defense, security and aerospace company with sales of $14.4 billion during 2011.

After the expanded militarized Urban Shield agreement with BAE Systems, Inc. was terminated on July 8, 2010, on May 24, 2011, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office requested authorization from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to authorize Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern to enter into an agreement with Anne M. Baker, CEO, of the Cytel Group, LLC for the development of individual disaster training excercises and programs similar to Alameda County's "Urban Shield".

The Sheriff's Office asked the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to authorize the Sheriff to receive a license fee of $10,000 from the Cytel Group, LLC as payment for the first year of their limited use of the Urban Shield marks and materials, including for each additional year a fee of one percent (1%) of the gross revenues being collected by licensee or affiliates for each and every individual excercise and/or program conducted by the Cytel Group.

On June 7, 2011 the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the agreement with the Cytel Group, LLC and authorized the Sheriff to deposit all fees collected from the agreement with the Cytel Group, LLC into an approved "Urban Shield" cash fund (Fund 84624, Org 900000, Account 499990) to help offset the costs associated with future militarized Urban Shield events and exercises.

A search of the public records with the Secretary of State in California, reveals that there is no such entity called Cytel Group, LLC filed on record with the Secretary of State presently, or at the time of June 7, 2011, when the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to approve an agreement with the Sheriff's Office and Cytel Group, LLC regarding Urban Shield.

According to the California Franchise Tax Board, a California limited liability company (LLC) is formed by filing "articles of organization" with the California Secretary of State, prior to conducting business in California.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com


Related Categories: East Bay | Anti-War
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