Since 1997 the surplus military property acquisition program (1033) has assisted law enforcement agencies in acquiring unused and excess surplus military equipment. The Executive Order issued by President Trump today ensures that law enforcement agencies will have access to these critical resources.
Equipment provided through the 1033 program has become a critical component of law enforcement agencies’ inventory, especially as fiscal challenges have mounted and other sources of equipment and funding have diminished. Law enforcement agencies often rely on equipment acquired through this program to conduct a variety of law enforcement operations including hostage rescue, special operations, disaster assistance, response to threats of terrorism, and fugitive apprehension.
Use of federally‐acquired equipment enhances the safety of officers who are often called upon to respond to dangerous or violent situations. Experience has repeatedly demonstrated that being improperly equipped in such operations can have life‐threatening consequences, both for the law enforcement personnel and the public they are charged with protecting.
However, recognizing that there are concerns associated with the use of surplus military equipment by civilian law enforcement agencies, it is incumbent upon each law enforcement agency that participates in the program to develop appropriate policies, procedures, and training to ensure that the equipment is being properly deployed.