For law enforcement purposes: The complicated relationship between the 1033 program and the expanding police mandate

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Nationwide protests and the ensuing “defund the police” movement reignited debates surrounding the allocation of resources to police departments and police militarization. A commonly examined program of militarization is the Department of Defense's (DoD) 1033 Program, which provides excess DoD equipment to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies (LEA). While the program does transfer lethal military-grade equipment, most transfers are non-lethal equipment/items. Thus, the degree of participation in the 1033 Program reflecting the “warrior cop mentality” may be overstated. Instead, 1033 Program participation may reflect police cultural framing and rational decisions of how best to meet the needs of their expanding mandate, including providing electrical grid support and natural disaster relief. In this paper, we qualitatively code over 125,000 LEA 1033 justifications for individual items to illuminate how LEAs define their role in society amid their shifting mandate. Results reveal a complex relationship between entrenched cultural patterns and changing demands and needs of departments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102166
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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