10 signatures reached
To: Michael O. Cannon, Defense Logistics Agency, Ombudsman in Disposition Services
Require the DoD to recall & retrieve its military equipment from US police departments
The US people are not confident in the ability of US police departments to administer military weaponry, vehicles and other heavy combat equipment. It inflates police missions to that of war with the public, not criminal justice.
Please reform or end the 1033 program & ask the Dept. of Defense, DLA to recall it's deep combat equipment.
Why is this important?
Obama issued an executive order regulating and limiting use of military equipment by US police departments, given local law enforcement from the 1033 program.
However, over 400 municipal police departments in the US are still actively using and requesting deep combat equipment such as MRAPs, armor piercing rifles, other deadly military weapons and identity operations equipment. This is out of over 8,000 law enforcement offices registered for surplus equipment.
This equipment is recognizable by the American public as military equipment and has been demilitarized in name only. When used by local law enforcement it conveys to the community that police are “ready for war” with them. The police cannot be at war with the community they have a responsibility to protect from problem actors. That is a conflict of interest.
It also stands outside the role of local law enforcement, who are a civilian force, not military, in peacetime. During times of national emergency there is deference to the US National Guard. Police do not, and should not, fill in the space of the US military based on their domestic role in using surplus military equipment.
Not all surplus equipment given to law enforcement has the same weight or meaning to communities, as specialized heavy combat equipment. Some 1033 equipment is basic military surplus gear, like: boots for extreme cold, office furnishings and protective clothing.
Law enforcement should be compelled by the DLA to inform communities & cities, flagging 1033 military equipment application requests for items used in heavy combat missions as a condition of surplus release. Existing 1033 LESO equipment should be reviewed transparently by each community. If the equipment is deemed inappropriate for community policing standards by the public, it should be made available for immediate recall by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) or made unavailable to local police.
If the DLA cannot further local communities' ability to regulate the flow of weapons and war grade armory to their police forces, perhaps it is time to end the 1033 program.