The 1033 Program




Altemus, Scott

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



The 1033 program is a military surplus property program that has provided valuable equipment to many law enforcement agencies around the country. Although the program has been in existence since 1997, it has come under much public scrutiny in recent years. This has led to an immediate and uninformed reaction to eliminate or severely restrict the program. After carefully evaluating the program based on facts and not emotions, it is clear that equipment received from the program has saved many police and civilian lives. The equipment received from the program can also save taxpayer dollars and reduce government waste. Despite the negative attention, the benefits and facts are clear that law enforcement agencies should take advantage of the 1033 program and utilize the equipment it provides. One of the downsides of the program is that it can lead some to feel that local law enforcement is becoming too militarized and deepens the divide between police and the communities they serve. The perception of police militarization may also have a negative effect on community policing efforts. Agencies can counter this perception in time with educating the public about the defensive nature and appropriate use of much of the equipment. Law enforcement agencies receiving 1033 equipment should be required to have internal policies in place to prevent 1033 abuse and to strive to incorporate public education about the 1033 program into their community policing efforts.


Police--Equipment and Supplies, Police-Community Relations