Thursday, September 18, 2014

1033

“We’ve spent the past two decades militarizing our police forces to respond to problems that never materialized.”


“The 1033 program’s roots lie in the drug war — hence the counter-narcotics impetus. It was originally created in 1990, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorized the Pentagon to transfer military equipment to local law enforcement if it was “suitable for use in counter-drug activities.” In the wake of the September 11th attacks, the program’s focus has expanded to include counter-terrorism activities as well.


While the 1033 program’s intent may have been to equip specialized units for extreme, dangerous situations, fighting al-Qaeda sleeper cells or powerful drug cartels, the effect has been to incorporate SWAT-style raids into ordinary police operations. That includes, but is certainly not limited to, the serving of search warrants. This may partly be because the program requires that all equipment issued through the 1033 program be used within one year of the date it is granted. That means that if police departments want to keep their new gear, they can’t wait for a rare emergency like an active shooter or hostage situation in order to use it.”


One sentence that explains why local police don’t need military weapons


Brilliant.


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