Model Resolution to End the Transfer of Military Equipment to Police


A Local Resolution to End the Transfer of Military Equipment to Police

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June 25, 2020 – Download PDF VersionNotes and Sources

Since 1990, the Department of Defense has transfered more than $7 billion worth of military equipment to more than 8,000 law enforcement agencies around the country through what is known as the 1033 Program. Transfers have included everything from office equipment to rifles, armored vehicles, aircraft and grenade launchers. 

These transfers have promulgated the militarization of police, contributing to police violence and increasingly aggressive police tactics. Military-style equipment has been used for everything from no-knock searches to intimidating protesters. 

As part of the larger effort to defund the police, invest in communities and end structural racism, ending the 1033 program is an essential step to demilitarizing our communities and saving lives. 

The following text provides a starting point for draft city and/ or state resolutions to end participation in the 1033 program by local police departments, and remove military equipment from our communities. 

For details on transfers to your local police departments, check the Department of Defense 1033 Program database.

DRAFT MODEL Resolution for Ending the Militarization of our Police Force 

Whereas the militarization of police forces does not keep us safe;

Whereas the militarization of police is a facet of structural racism that contributes to the devaluation and loss of Black lives;

Whereas the loss of Black lives to police killings has galvanized a nation and the world to demand an end to the militarization of our communities; 

Whereas the Pentagon’s 1033 program has sent billions of dollars of surplus military equipment including tracked and armored vehicles, drones, rifles and rifle sights, grenade launchers, and night-vision goggles, among other items, to law enforcement agencies all over the country;

Whereas the provision of military equipment to local police forces at no cost constitutes a significant federal subsidy supporting the militarism of police;

Whereas police forces must allocate funds to transport and maintain military equipment, further diverting state and local funds from alternative community investments;

Whereas the vast majority of current police encounters could best be addressed by de-escalation and social services rather than the use of force;

Whereas it has been shown that police forces have increasingly engaged in paramilitary tactics that have targeted Black and Brown communities disproportionately;

Whereas a primary stated purpose of the Pentagon’s 1033 program is to engage in counterdrug activities;

Whereas a growing consensus across the political spectrum recognizes that the war on drugs has had debilitating effects on communities, including mass incarceration and a failure to invest appropriately in substance use treatment 

Whereas the excess of military equipment provided to local police departments is a direct result of misplaced federal spending priorities that overfund the military and underfund communities, in direct parallel to local overinvestment in police forces at the expense of communities 

[IF CITY/TOWN HAS RECEIVED EQUIPMENT UNDER 1033] 

Whereas the police have accepted XXX military equipment in the City/Town of XXX;

[IF CITY/TOWN HAS NOT RECEIVED EQUIPMENT UNDER 1033]

Whereas police forces across the country have accepted military equipment including armored vehicles, rifles and ammunition, night-vision goggles, and more;

Whereas local and national leaders have spoken out clearly about the need to demilitarize our police forces, particularly in the context of growing understanding of the racist underpinnings of such militarization;

Whereas the Poor People’s Campaign, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the American Friends Service Committee, and numerous members of Congress have all called for an end to the provision of military equipment to police forces as an essential part of the demilitarization of communities;

Therefore be it resolved that: The city of XX will not request or accept any surplus military equipment under the Pentagon’s 1033 program [IF THE CITY HAS SUCH EQUIPMENT FROM THE PAST –   and will turn in all remaining military equipment currently in the possession of our police department to the relevant authority.

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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