Police officers are America’s first line of defense against attack, whether from terrorists, active shooters or dangerous fugitives on the run. This has never been truer than it is today.
In 2017 alone, we witnessed dozens of mass-shooting events, including the deadliest mass-shooting in American history. Unfortunately, the looming threat of terrorist attacks and active shooters is the grim reality in America today. As a result of these growing threats, it is more important than ever for police departments to have access to tactical weaponry and protective gear to respond to attacks and keep the public safe.
1033 Program and Reuse of Military Equipment
Police officers are trained under a use of force continuum that instructs them to use the minimum amount of force necessary to neutralize a threat. In 2018, police officers are faced with formidable threats such as suicide bombers and crazed mass-shooters. Therefore, it is imperative that police have access to the tactical weaponry and protective gear they need to neutralize those threats.
Fortunately, there are some government programs that provide assistance to police departments on this front. The 1033 Program, established in 1997, ensures that police departments can access the tactical equipment they need to neutralize any threat. The 1033 Program allows law enforcement agencies to, “acquire property for bona fide law enforcement purposes that assist in their arrest and apprehension mission.”
According to the Defense Logistics Agency, over 8,000 law enforcement agencies from every state participate in the program.
Critics of the 1033 Program argue that the reuse of military equipment by local law enforcement agencies amounts to the “militarization of police”. This line of thinking is misguided. Police officers do not need this equipment to “blow away” criminals. Police require tactical weaponry and safety gear to deter crime and respond with the minimum amount of force necessary.
Programs like the 1033 Program ensure that our police officers have the best gear to deter crime and stay safe on the job. Police armed with high quality, effective equipment will always have the clear upper hand, and that makes all of us safer.
Click here to learn more about National Police Support Fund.