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.