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The Government Program That's Equipping Police Like an Occupying Military Force


October 11, 2014
Sue Sturgis / The American Prospect

In 1990, Congress authorized the Defense Department to give excess arms and ammunition to law enforcement agencies for counter-drug activities, leading to the creation of what's come to be known as the 1033 program. The results have caused anger and alarm across the US. Some of the disturbing repercussions of this arm-the-cops program were compiled in this chilling index from the Institute for Southern Studies.

http://prospect.org/article/government-program-thats-equipping-police-occupying-military-force

(August 18, 2014) -- This index was originally published by Facing South a website of the Institute for Southern Studies.

Year in which Congress initially authorized the Defense Department to give excess arms and ammunition to law enforcement agencies for counter-drug activities, leading to the creation of what's come to be known as the 1033 program:1990

Number of law enforcement agencies the program has given equipment to: more than 17,000

Percent of US states with agencies participating in the program: 100

Value of military equipment the program has transferred to police departments to date: $4.3 billion

Value of military equipment the program transferred to police departments last year alone: vnearly $500 million

Estimated number of law enforcement agencies that have gotten military vehicles built for use in Iraq and Afghanistan to withstand armor-piercing roadside bombs: 500

Length in pages of the paperwork a law enforcement agency is required to fill out in order to get such a vehicle: 1

Minimum number of military rifles and pistols received by law enforcement agencies in St. Louis County, Missouri, where shocking scenes of police violence unfolded this week following the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown: 18

Number of military vehicles obtained by Ferguson (pop. 21,203) in the most recent equipment transfer through the program: v2

Number of police agencies in the state of Georgia alone that are participating in the 1033 program: about 600

According to an inventory by the Georgia Department of Public Safety, value of surplus military equipment and weapons now in the hands of the state's law enforcement agencies: $200 million

Number of military-style rifles the police in Cartersville, Georgia (pop. 19,731) have acquired through the 1033 program: 17

Number of arrests police in North Carolina have reportedly made using vehicles obtained through the 1033 program: more than 3,000

Month in which the firearms manager for North Carolina's 1033 program pleaded guilty to stealing military rifles and other weapons from the program and selling some on eBay: 4/2013

Year in which the police department in Columbia, South Carolina got a military vehicle through the program that can be outfitted with a 50-caliber machine gun: 2013

Value of gear obtained through the program by the police department in Oxford, Alabama (pop.21,384): $10.4 million

Value of property the police chief in Rising Star, Texas (pop. 835) obtained through the program over a 14-month period before he was fired last year for an unrelated matter: $3.2 million

Frequency in years that the Defense Department is supposed to conduct compliance reviews of each state's program: 2

Number of years that Mississippi's program went without a compliance review: 6

Month in which the US House of Representatives voted on an amendment from Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida) that would have partially defunded the 1033 program: 6/2014

Bipartisan vote by which Grayson's amendment failed: 62-355

Percent more that the representatives who voted to continue funding the program received from the defense industry on average than the lawmakers who voted to defund it: 73

(For background information, go to the original report and click on figures in bold to go to source.)

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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