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MRAP Resources for the 1033 Program

by Mike Smith

EMA Emergency Management, EMS Emergency Medical Services, FD Fire Departments, Law Enforcement, badges article logo label

What is the 1033 Program?

There have been multiple articles recently in the media about militarization of law enforcement agencies, about how we are becoming a police state. Realistically, our officers are now facing threats never imagined before in the United States. Riots, hostage situations, and drug related incidents are overwhelming to say the least. Here is the down and dirty information on the 1033 program and how it may enable your department to face these threats now and in the unforeseen future while living within your operational budget. There are opportunities for law enforcement agencies to procure much needed equipment for literally pennies on the dollar...Sometimes free... that may save the life of a fellow officer or first responder to quell violence of this magnitude.

In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991, Congress authorized the transfer of excess Department of Defense (DOD) personal property or Excess Defense Articles (EDA) to federal and state agencies for use in counter-drug activities. The program came under the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) jurisdiction in October 1995. The Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), located at DLA Disposition Services Headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan, oversees the program. Congress later passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997; this act allows all law enforcement agencies to acquire property for bona fide law enforcement purposes that assist in their arrest and apprehension mission. Preference is given to counter-drug and counter-terrorism requests.

How Can Your Organization Capitalize on the 1033 Program?

For states to participate in the program, they must each set up a business relationship with DLA through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) (1). Once law enforcement agencies have been approved to participate in the 1033 Program by the State Coordinator and the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), the law enforcement agencies appoint officials to visit their local DLA Disposition Services Site. They will screen property and place requests for specific items by submitting requisitions on the Enterprise Business Portal RTD Web page, the item must have a justification and be approved by both the State Coordinator and the LESO Staff. Law enforcement agencies that receive approval for property must cover all transportation and/or shipping costs. The application process is available here.

How much are the shipping costs? An example is that a U.S. Army MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle that originally cost the U.S. Army $733,000.00 (original acquisition value) will cost less than $3.000.00 for secondary transportation (shipping) to your location.

Who participates in the program?

Over 8,000 federal and state law enforcement agencies from all 50 states and the U.S. territories participate in the program. Under the 1033 Program, A law enforcement agency is a government agency whose primary function is the enforcement of applicable federal, state and local laws and whose compensated law enforcement officers have the powers of arrest and apprehension.

What Items can you get?

The list of items available is almost unlimited for law enforcement use. Handcuffs, Riot shields, Holsters, Bayonets, Reflex Sights, Binoculars, Weapons, Office Equipment, Exercise Equipment to Watercraft, Aircraft, Tactical Vehicles, etc...Look it up, they just might have what you need!

Training...Who is responsible, Is there any help?

DLA does not provide or fund training with excess defense articles (EDAs) in the 1033 program. Most agencies capitalize on the knowledge and experience of prior military members of the force to train the organization. Options vary across agencies dependent of location, i.e., based on nearby National Guard or Active military bases. Some law enforcement agencies have critical roles or are tasked in military installation base defense or response (Active Shooter/Barricaded Shooter) that provide interaction with the active force that may allow for training in these situations. In this capacity a memorandum of agreement is usually signed with both elements.

Maintenance/Sustainment...Who is responsible, is there any help?

DLA does not normally provide maintenance or sustainment of EDAs. State coordinators may provide information for the original equipment manufacturer if specific parts are required. Most maintenance issues revolve around parts that are available through local parts distribution centers. A detailed assessment of your municipality’s ability to perform maintenance on this equipment will be required before procurement.

It is prudent for you to conduct an in-depth risk assessment bearing in mind your ability to safely operate, train, and maintain the requested equipment. Also, don’t forget to consider things such as your infrastructure, bridge classifications, tunnel dimensions, road widths and stream and lake depths for water craft.

To summarize, the 1033 program may be able to provide your organization with equipment needed to conduct those critical tasks within of the realm of your current budget and ensure your officers can return home safely after their shift is complete.


1.   Defense Logistics Agency Logistics Services

About the author

Mike Smith is employed by Jacobs Engineering as a training developer in the Directorate of Training and Doctrine for the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Georgia. He has over 34 years of experience in Army operations and training and serves as the principal training developer for multiple programs of record, including the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected and Stryker vehicle platforms.

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