The DPS Law Enforcement Support Services office, created in 1994, provides excess Department of Defense equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies to use in law enforcement activities.
The DPS LESS office works in conjunction with members of the U.S. Department of Defense Logistics Agency to administer and execute the federal 1033 program, which increases the capabilities of law enforcement agencies across North Carolina, while reducing costs to taxpayers.
The DPS LESS office team provides service to the law enforcement community by training N.C. law enforcement personnel in the program, while approving and transferring excess property from federal stocks to local agencies. While the program can provide controlled property such as weapons, tactical equipment and vehicles, it can also provide non-controlled property such as office equipment, and training and support items.
The DPS LESS office currently supports more than 184 active law enforcement agencies in the program, representing an asset value of $244.9 million in controlled property and general property. LESS also manages the Federal 1033 Program for North Carolina.
4227 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C. 27699-4227
Fax: (919) 733-5188
3040 Hammond Business Place
Raleigh, N.C. 27603
Law Enforcement Support Services started in 1994 with a grant from the Governor's Crime Commission. The mission was to obtain excess property from the Department of Defense and give it to law enforcement agencies throughout North Carolina.
The General Assembly funded LESS in 1996 with $200,389 and an authorized strength of four. Since the beginning through April 2008, LESS distributed $122,356,018 in items to agencies in all 100 counties. Items include cars, pickups, trucks, motorcycles, helicopters, boats, body armor, clothing, field gear, night vision equipment, weapons, computers and accessories, and many other kinds of things useful for law enforcement work.
By 2002, LESS had moved from its beginning in a three-room second floor office to a 30,000 square foot warehouse to provide better service to its law enforcement customers. The 2007-08 budget was $383,948, of which $161,778 was non-recurring, with an authorized strength of four.
In 1995 LESS received grants from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the GCC to pilot a program to enable state and local agencies to purchase items from the Department of Defense and the General Services Administration at the Federal price points. LESS, along with two other states, established the national program. At the expiration of the grants, LESS continued to operate the Law Enforcement Procurement program without additional funds.
Agencies purchase film, body armor, weapons, vehicles, fuel, helicopter parts and many other items. Purchases for the first 10 months of fiscal year 2007-08 were $1,309,558 with an average savings of 25%.
In 1996 a statewide working group on drug task forces issued a clear call for equipment that could be used on a short-term basis. The GCC provided a grant to purchase equipment and outfit undercover vehicles that were obtained through the Excess Property program, the Governor's Highway Safety Program provided a grant for light sets for traffic checks and other equipment, and LESS began the Loan Program. Since 2000, agencies have used LESS vehicles and equipment and reported 4,053 arrests, seizure of $238,777 in cash, and $1,946,302 in other items. This program has been operated without additional funds.
On September 13, 2001, LESS was asked to obtain excess property for use by law enforcement agencies working the scene in New York City. By September 15, LESS had obtained two tractor-trailers full of items and had them at the World Trade Center site. This evolved into an agreement to provide similar support in case of other Weapons of Mass Destruction events. This program was funded by the Office for Domestic Preparedness beginning in 2002. LESS deployed to New Orleans after Katrina and issued boots, blankets, clothing, sleeping bags, generators and other items valued at $419,000 to the New Orleans Police Department. The Federal funding was terminated shortly thereafter but LESS continued to maintain a contingency stock of items and the means to deliver them for disasters, natural or man-made, in North Carolina.
In 2011, the name was changed to Law Enforcement Support Services.
LESS continues to assist law enforcement agencies throughout North Carolina become more effective by being responsive to their needs.
In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991, Congress authorized the transfer of excess DOD personal property to federal and state agencies for use in counter-drug activities. 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.
The program came under the Defense Logistics Agency's jurisdiction in October 1995. The Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), located at DLA Disposition Services Headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan, oversees the program.
For states to participate in the program, they must each set up a business relationship with DLA through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Each participating state's governor is required to appoint a State Coordinator to ensure the program is used correctly by the participating law enforcement agencies. The State Coordinators are expected to maintain property accountability records and to investigate any alleged misuse of property, and in certain cases, to report violations of the Memorandum of Agreement to DLA. State Coordinators are aggressive in suspending law enforcement agencies who abuse the program.
Additionally, DLA has a compliance review program. The program's objective is to have the LESO staff visit each state coordinator and assist him or her in ensuring that property accountability records are properly maintained, minimizing the potential for fraud, waste and abuse.
State law enforcement agencies from all 50 states and the U.S. territories participate in the 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.
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 RTDWeb 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.
DLA has final authority to determine the type, quantity and location of excess military property that is made available for use by law enforcement activities.
DLA, specifically its DLA Disposition Services, has responsibility for Department of Defense property disposal. There are several stages in the property disposal process. Reutilization and transfer comprise the first stage. Reutilization involves the military services and other DoD components and organizations receiving access to excess property either by public law or DoD policy-the Law Enforcement Support program is part of reutilization. Transfers occur when federal civilian agencies receive excess property.
The second stage is the donation stage, where excess property that is determined to be surplus to the military's needs is provided to organizations, such as state and local governments as well as homeless shelters, under the General Services Administration's donation programs. The final stage consists of surplus property sales to the general public.
Law enforcement agencies use the equipment in a variety of ways. For instance, four-wheel drive vehicles are used to interrupt drug harvesting, haul away marijuana, patrol streets and conduct surveillance. The 1033 Program also helps with the agencies' general equipment needs, such as file cabinets, copiers, and fax machines that they need but perhaps are unable to afford.
|State Coordinator||Gregory Weavil||Office: 919-324-6227
|State point of contact||Edward Davis||919-324-6459|
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