Providing Tools to Local Law Enforcement
- The safety and security of the American people is the President’s top priority, and he strongly believes we need to support our brave law enforcement officers, all across America.
- From combatting terrorism, transnational drug cartels, gang violence and other scourges to public safety, the President is doing all he can to restore law and order.
- Today, the President is signing an Executive Order that revokes an Obama-era Executive Order and restores State, tribal, and local access to billions of dollars’ worth of life-saving surplus federal equipment.
- The President’s order restores the full scope of a pro-law enforcement program that reuses surplus Department of Defense gear, which can include everything from office supplies to armored vehicles under the 1033 program.
- It also restores the full scope of other federal programs that provide equipment to law enforcement agencies.
- Recent academic studies have found that recycled equipment provided through the 1033 program reduces crime rates, reduces costs, reduces the number of assaults on police officers, reduces the number of complaints against police officers, and increases arrest rates for particularly worrisome crimes such as drug trafficking and weapons violations.
- Increased aid does not increase the number of offenders killed by police.
- Congress created the 1033 program more than 25 years ago, and has resulted in recycling more than $5.4 billion in taxpayer-purchased, surplus military gear including everything from ammunition and vehicles to office supplies and computers.
- President Obama issued an Executive Order rescinding the program.
- However, even the report created pursuant to that EO admitted the equipment “enhances the safety of officers who are often called upon to respond to dangerous or violent situations;”
- And that “being improperly equipped in such operations can have life-threatening consequences, both for the law enforcement personnel and the public they are charged with protecting.”
- Much of the equipment provided through the 1033 program is entirely defensive in nature.
- Examples include armored vehicles that protect officers in active shooter scenarios and other dangerous situations, or enable emergency and search and rescue operations like those currently taking place in Texas after this weekend’s terrible hurricane.
- This type of equipment has been used in high-profile police operations such as San Bernardino, where armored vehicles and other military gear were used to protect the lives of the officers who pursued and ultimately killed the terrorists. A military-style helmet also stopped a bullet and saved the life of an officer responding to the Orlando nightclub shooting.
- Equipment received through these programs enables law enforcement to do more with their limited budgets, including more training, community policing, intelligence sharing, and other key public safety functions.