Federal Program Supplying Military Weapons And Other Equipment To Domestic Law Enforcement Agencies

"The militarization of American policing has occurred as a direct result of federal programs that use equipment transfers and funding to encourage aggressive enforcement of the War on Drugs by state and local police agencies. One such program is the 1033 Program, launched in the 1990s during the heyday of the War on Drugs, which authorizes the U.S. Department of Defense to transfer military equipment to local law enforcement agencies.12 This program, originally enacted as part of the 1989 National Defense Authorization Act, initially authorized the transfer of equipment that was 'suitable for use by such agencies in counterdrug activities.'13 In 1996, Congress made the program permanent and expanded the program’s scope to require that preference be given to transfers made for the purpose of 'counterdrug and counterterrorism activities.'14 There are few limitations or requirements imposed on agencies that participate in the 1033 Program.15 In addition, equipment transferred under the 1033 Program is free to receiving agencies, though they are required to pay for transport and maintenance. The federal government requires agencies that receive 1033 equipment to use it within one year of receipt,16 so there can be no doubt that participation in this program creates an incentive for law enforcement agencies to use military equipment."

Source: 

"War Comes Home At America’s Expense: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing," American Civil Liberties Union (New York, NY: ACLU, June 2014), p. 16.
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