Wednesday, December 7, 2011

1033 Program

“It’s totally contrary to what we think is good policing”
-Joseph McNamara
Former Police Chief in Kansas City, Mo., and San Jose, CA

The 1033 program, passed by Congress in 1997, was created to provide law-enforcement agencies with tools to fight drugs and terrorism. Since then, more than 17,000 agencies have taken in $2.6 billion worth of free equipment, paying only the cost of delivery. This year alone, more than $500 million of military gear was given to U.S. police forces, and next year’s orders are up 400%.
The hand-me-downs are supposed to help law-enforcement fight terrorism and drugs, but amidst a 40-year low in violent crime, what are they really being used for?
“If we’re training cops as soldiers, giving them equipment like soldiers, dressing them up as soldiers, when are they going to pick up the mentality of soldiers?” he asked.
“If you look at the police department, their creed is to protect and to serve. A soldier’s mission is to engage his enemy in close combat and kill him. Do we want police officers to have that mentality? Of course not.”
-Arthur Rizer
Lawyer who has served as both a military and civilian police officer