Drawing a Line Between Rambo & Barney Fife

Overhauling the Department of Defense's Excess Property Program in Order to Halt the Overmilitarization of America's Police Forces

The Department of Defense’s Excess Property Program, otherwise known as the 1033 program, provides local law enforcement agencies with excess military property at little to no cost. To go along with the 1033 program, the federal government also provides local law enforcement agencies with billions of dollars worth of funding. This funding gives local law enforcement agencies the monetary means to be able to use the military-grade equipment or buy new military-grade equipment they cannot get through the 1033 program. As a result of these 1033 programs, military-grade equipment may be misused. Specifically, law enforcement agencies may want to use their military-grade equipment because they have the equipment. Additionally, there is the “subtle” effect that if law enforcement officers dress like soldiers, they will think they’re at war. This Note recommends stricter standards for the transfer of military weaponry to local law enforcement agencies.

The full text of this Note is available to download as a PDF.