The "Militarization" of Law Enforcement as well as the Department of Defense's "1033 Program"
Recent battles between police and protesters in Ferguson, MO, have raised questions about the "militarization" of law enforcement. Such concerns have focused nearly entirely on the expanding role of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams. Congress has also turned its focus to the Department of Defense's (DOD) "1033 Program" and what role it may play in the militarization of law enforcement.
Militarization of Law Enforcement
SWAT teams first appeared in the later section of the 1960s as a means to react to outstanding instances which couldn't be efficiently handled with regular law enforcement officers, strategies, and weapons (e.g., hostage takings, active shots, or terrorist scenarios). Law enforcement agencies also have created SWAT teams as a means to fight better-armed offenders. SWAT teams are called upon to manage the most serious scenarios, including serving high risk narcotics search warrants, apprehending fugitives that were dangerous, and saving hostages. The strategies used by SWAT teams were created to defend the security of the people officers, victims, and offenders.
Since they were formed in the late 1960s the amount of SWAT teams has proliferated. By the late 1990s, about 89% of more individuals and 80 or police departments in the United States serving authorities of 50,000% of departments serving jurisdictions of 25-50,000 individuals reported having a SWAT team. The increase in the variety of SWAT teams in modest authorities has raised questions about whether they have the resources required to correctly train team members.
Data reveal that SWAT teams are being deployed more often. There was a reported increase in % 1,400 the absolute amount of SWAT deployments between 1980 and . 2000 There are an estimated 45,000 SWAT deployments each year. Data also reveal that almost 80% of SWAT deployments are to carry out search warrants or for proactive drug raids. Moreover, SWAT teams are increasingly used to run routine patrol work in crime "hot spots."
A recently published report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claims that while law enforcement might claim that SWAT teams are needed to stop violence in high risk scenarios, the aggressive tactics used by SWAT teams can exacerbate the danger of violence. Additionally, the ACLU noted that what makes up a "high risk" scenario is dependant on the subjective belief of the policemen involved. The ACLU also asserts the competitive techniques can get a negative effect on public confidence in law enforcement.
Two scholars claim the "war on drugs" as well as the "war on terror" have given rise to the militarization of authorities by giving a disaster in which law enforcement could enlarge its size, range, and power; growing requirements from the general public for the authorities to "do something" in regards to the disaster; and facilitating interactions between the military and law enforcement as they ran combined operations in the "wars." Technological developments have lowered the price for law enforcement to embrace military technology. Technology which was once only used by the military-such as satellite tracking, thermal imaging, and facial recognition systems - can be utilized by law enforcement. The ACLU reported that law enforcement agencies are supplying more militaristic training that teaches them to think like soldiers to SWAT team members.
The 1033 Program
The "1033 Program" was made by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act for 1997 (P.L. 104-201) and is codified in 10 U.S.C. [section]2576a. It authorizes the Secretary of Defense to give material support to authorized state and federal law enforcement agencies in the type of transfers of posts suited to use in counter-drug and counter terrorism actions. All these are drawn from Department of Defense (DOD) stocks deemed surplus to military needs.
It was preceded by a 1990 legislative act, Section 1208 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 1990 and 1991 (P.L. 101-189), which briefly authorized transfers of defense equipment to law enforcement agencies for counter-drug enforcement use. The 1997 act made the power long-term and enlarged it to include counterterrorism actions.
The present statute requires the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Drug Control Policy as well as the Attorney General consult in carrying out its provisions. In addition, it permits the Secretary to transfer property only if (1) it's drawn from present DOD stocks, (2) the receiving agency accepts the substance "as-is, where-is," (3) the transfer is made without expending DOD procurement resources, and (4) all following costs are borne by the recipient. However, the Secretary may transfer the property to the receiver without cost.
The statute stipulates that preference will probably be given to uses specifying the substance will be utilized in counter-drug or counterterrorism actions.
The Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) manages the system. To participate, each state or territory must carry out a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with DLA, as well as the governor must appoint a state coordinator. The coordinator investigates alleged property abuse maintains property records, and reports MOA infringements to DLA. The senior official of the receiving law enforcement organization is in charge of all 1033 Program managed property. Property requiring demilitarization should be returned when wanted to DLA.
State agencies wanting to take part apply through their state coordinator to the LESO. Once accepted, the bureaus make officials to visit with a DLA Disposition Services Website to screen property, setting special requests through their state coordinators. The LESO has ultimate approval power over individual property transfers.
General types of content provided by the LESO comprise office furniture, household goods (e.g., kitchen gear), exercise equipment, mobile electrical generators, tents, and general law enforcement materials (e.g., handcuffs, riot shields, holsters, binoculars, and digital cameras). Numerous kinds of land vehicles, and heavy gear, like cranes are also accessible. Aircraft, Watercraft, and weapons meet the criteria for transport. Other miscellaneous property comprises tool kits, first aid kits, blankets and bedclothes, yard care materials, combat boots, and office equipment (computers, printers, fax machines, etc.). As stated by the LESO, more than 8,000 agencies participate and have received more than $5.1 billion in property since the system's start.