Business Insider & JustNet.org – 2011-12-07 00:47:40
The Pentagon Is Offering Free Military Hardware To Every Police Department In The US
Robert Johnson / Business Insider
(December 5, 2011) — The US military has some of the most advanced killing equipment in the world that allows it to invade almost wherever it likes at will. We produce so much military equipment that inventories of military robots, M-16 assault rifles, helicopters, armored vehicles, and grenade launchers eventually start to pile up and it turns out a lot of these weapons are going straight to American police forces to be used against US citizens.
Benjamin Carlson at The Daily reports on a little known endeavor called the “1033 Program” that gave more than $500 million of military gear to US police forces in 2011 alone.
1033 was passed by Congress in 1997 to help law-enforcement fight terrorism and drugs, but despite a 40-year low in violent crime, police are snapping up hardware like never before. While this year’s staggering take topped the charts, next year’s orders are up 400 percent over the same period.
This upswing coincides with an increasingly military-like style of law enforcement most recently seen in the Occupy Wall Street crackdowns.
Tim Lynch, director of the Cato Institute’s project on criminal justice told The Daily, “The trend toward militarization was well under way before 9/11, but it’s the federal policy of making surplus military equipment available almost for free that has poured fuel on this fire.”
From The Daily:
Thanks to it, cops in Cobb County, Ga. — one of the wealthiest and most educated counties in the U.S. — now have an amphibious tank. The sheriff of Richland County, S.C., proudly acquired a machine-gun-equipped armored personnel carrier that he nicknamed “The Peacemaker.”
This comes on top of grants from the Department of Homeland Security that enable police departments to buy vehicles such as “BearCats” — 16,000-pound bulletproof trucks equipped with battering rams, gun ports, tear-gas dispensers and radiation detectors. To date, more than 500 of these tank-like vehicles have been sold by Lenco, its Massachusetts-based manufacturer, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel.
“It’s kind of had a corrupting influence on the culture of policing in America,” Lynch says. “The dynamic is that you have some officer go to the chief and say, people in the next county have [military hardware], if we don’t take it some other city will. Then they acquire the equipment, they create a paramilitary unit, and everything seems fine.
“But then one or two years pass. They say, look we’ve got this equipment, this training and we haven’t been using it. That’s where it starts to creep into routine policing.”
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
The 1033 Program
(October 28, 2011) — The 1033 Program (formerly the 1208 Program) permits the Secretary of Defense to transfer, without charge, excess U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) personal property (supplies and equipment) to state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs).
The 1033 Program has allowed law enforcement agencies to acquire vehicles (land, air and sea), weapons, computer equipment, body armor, fingerprint equipment, night vision equipment, radios and televisions, first aid equipment, tents and sleeping bags, photographic equipment and more.
Rules and Restrictions
* The requesting agency must be a government agency that has a primary function of enforcing laws and with officers who are compensated and have powers of arrest and apprehension.
* The property must be drawn from existing DoD stocks.
* The receiving agency is responsible for all costs associated with the property after it is transferred, as well as for all shipping or federal repossession costs.
* The recipient must accept the property on an as-is, where-is basis.
* All property is transferred on a first-come, first-served basis.
* Property may not be sold, leased, rented, exchanged, bartered, used to secure a loan, used to supplement the agency’s budget or stockpiled for possible future use.
* A state or local law enforcement or corrections official begins the process by completing a “Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) Application for Participation in the 1033 Program.” This application can be found at the following link: https://www.dispositionservices.dla.mil/rtd03/leso/forms.shtml.
* After the application is completed, the agency official sends the application to the State Point of Contact (SPOC) for the respective state in which the applicant is located.
* On approval by the SPOC, the application is sent to the U.S. Department of Defense Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) in Battle Creek, Mich.
* The LESO responds by sending a letter to the SPOC, who sends it on to the agency. This letter provides the agency with a unique number allowing the agency to access the LESO database and also identifies the law enforcement officers authorized to screen and receive property at all Defense Reutilization and Marketing Offices (DRMOs). In some states, all screening and acquisition of property is performed at the state level.
How to Find Available Items
There are two methods of screening excess property. The first is physically visiting DRMOs and looking over the excess property displayed. The second method would be reviewing the inventory listings of the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) through their website: https://www.dispositionservices.dla.mil/rtd03/leso/index.shtml.
For instructions on how to navigate the DRMS website, please contact your State Coordinator , call (800) 248-2742, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Charlie Brune, Law Enforcement Project Manager, Federal Excess Property Programs, cell phone (512) 517-8064; e-mail email@example.com.
Charlie Brune joined the staff of the Small, Rural, Tribal and Border Regional Center (SRTB-RC) on Sept. 1, 2009, as the law enforcement liaison for the Federal Surplus Property Program. SRTB-RC is one of centers in the National Law Enforcement Corrections and Technology Center (NLECTC) System, a program of the National Institute of Justice. SRTB-RC is a public safety program of The Center for Rural Development (CRD), based out of Somerset, Ky.
Before joining NLECTC, Mr. Brune retired from the Texas Department of Public Safety as a captain with the Texas Rangers. Mr. Brune has more than 40 years of experience in state law enforcement involving several different state agencies. He has conducted numerous investigations into public corruption, money laundering, fraud and homicides. Mr. Brune has also served in the U.S. Army, obtaining the rank of staff sergeant. Mr. Brune graduated from Schreiner College in Kerrville, Tx.