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How America’s Police Became an Army: The 1033 Program

Riot police clear a street with smoke bombs while clashing with demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Riot police clear a street with smoke bombs while clashing with demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

A mainstream outlet is now talking about the militarization of police? My, my.  –  Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor

This article comes from

By Taylor Wofford

As many have noted, Ferguson, Missouri, currently looks like a war zone. And its police—kitted out with Marine-issue camouflage and military-grade body armor, toting short-barreled assault rifles, and rolling around in armored vehicles—are indistinguishable from soldiers.

America has been quietly arming its police for battle since the early 1990s.

Faced with a bloated military and what it perceived as a worsening drug crisis, the 101st Congress in 1990 enacted the National Defense Authorization Act. Section 1208 of the NDAA allowed the Secretary of Defense to “transfer to Federal and State agencies personal property of the Department of Defense, including small arms and ammunition, that the Secretary determines is— (A) suitable for use by such agencies in counter-drug activities; and (B) excess to the needs of the Department of Defense.” It was called the 1208 Program. In 1996, Congress replaced Section 1208 with Section 1033.

The idea was that if the U.S. wanted its police to act like drug warriors, it should equip them like warriors, which it has—to the tune of around $4.3 billion in equipment, according to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union. The St. Louis County Police Department’s annual budget is around $160 million. By providing law enforcement agencies with surplus military equipment free of charge, the NDAA encourages police to employ military weapons and military tactics.

1033 procurements are not matters of public record. And the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which coordinates distribution of military surplus, refuses to reveal the names of agencies requesting “tactical” items, like assault rifles and MRAPs — for security reasons, a spokesperson for DLA told Newsweek via email. One can only trace “tactical” items as far the county of the requesting agency. In the case of Ferguson, that means St. Louis County.

St. Louis County law enforcement agencies have, through the 1033 Program, acquired the following “tactical” equipment, according to Mike O’Connell, Communications Director for the Missouri Department of Public Safety:

Issue     Date                   Description
2    8/9/2012    RECEIVER- TRANSMITTER

3    8/9/2012    RECEIVER- TRANSMITTER

4    10/30/2012    TRUCK, UTILITY

5    11/21/2012    TRAILER, CARGO

6    4/10/2012    NIGHT VISION DEVICE

7     4/10/2012    NIGHT VISION DEVICE

8    4/11/2012    SIGHT, NIGHT VISION

9    4/11/2012    SIGHT, NIGHT VISION

10    4/11/2012    SIGHT, NIGHT VISION

11    4/11/2012    BORELIGHT SYSTEM, LA

12    10/30/2012   TRAILER, CARGO

13    10/30/2012   TRUCK, UTILITY

14     2/13/2013       ROBOT, EXPLOSIVE ORD

15    8/6/2014    TRUCK UTILITY

16    6/27/2013    TRUCK, UTILITY

17    6/27/2013    TRUCK, UTILITY

18    8/13/2013    TRUCK UTILITY

19    9/23/2013    TRUCK, UTILITY

20    2/7/2012    NIGHT VISION DEVICE

21    2/7/2012    NIGHT VISION DEVICE

22    2/7/2012    SIGHT, REFLEX

23    2/7/2012    SIGHT, REFLEX

24    2/7/2012    SIGHT, REFLEX

25    2/7/2012    SIGHT, REFLEX

26    2/7/2012    SIGHT, REFLEX

27    3/19/2014    TRUCK UTILITY

28    2/16/2012    NIGHT VISION DEVICE

29    2/16/2012    NIGHT VISION DEVICE

30    1/21/2014    TRUCK, ULTILTY

31    7/10/2014    SIGHT REFLEX

32    7/10/2014    SIGHT REFLEX

33    7/10/2014    SIGHT REFLEX

34    7/10/2014    SIGHT REFLEX

35    7/10/2014    SIGHT REFLEX

36    7/10/2014    SIGHT REFLEX

37    7/10/2014    SIGHT REFLEX

38    7/10/2014    SIGHT REFLEX

39    7/10/2014    SIGHT REFLEX

40    7/10/2014    SIGHT REFLEX

Despite the fact that police in Ferguson have been photographed with a matte black vehicle which appears to be a “Bearcat” MRAP, O’Connell told Newsweek that no St. Louis County law enforcement agencies have acquired any MRAPs through the 1033 program.


Read more here.





  1. You have a Law Enforcement and Government in general Viewpoint, that the American people are the “enemy.”
    That is the Police viewpoint currently for MOST departments. Many are “itching” for a confrontation.
    My home town Local City Police department act like thugs, bullies, criminals with a badge. They MURDER unarmed
    people regularly. The BEAT unarmed people up OFTEN. With NO ACCOUNTABILITY.
    They make up false charges. “resisting arrest” “battery of police officer” are favorites after TEN of them BEAT
    one individual senseless. Most CITY Local PD officers hired, are formerly from BIG city departments. They bring that attitude. “Thug with badge. Looking for a fight.” (… as long as it is TEN Officers against ONE unarmed half drunk guy.)

    My home town county Sheriff department being the exception. They ONLY hire LOCAL people
    who have grown up in area. Yes it is Against “official” HR policy. But reality is that
    outsiders are NEVER hired. Result is good. The Sheriff officers know people in community.
    Went to school with, and they are a PART of the community. It is NOT a we versus “civilian”
    attitude. The Sheriffs are just neighbors and friends that just do their job mostly without malice.

    That is NOT the case with Fed trained Law enforcement. It is us versus Americans.

    When you have an Anti middle class, Anti American COMMUNIST TRAITOR
    as a sitting United States president. Of course that HATRED of Americans filters down stream.

    The United States Federal Government views American People as enemy combatants.
    Many State and Local Law enforcement also have that perspective.
    Because the FEDS are brainwashing with the training they provide at the state and local level.
    Military and Law enforcement are very “GROUP think” oriented. Followers.

    How about those “No Hesitation’ targets the FEDS use with pregnant women? Says it all.

    Also, the KGB determined years ago that areas in US could EASILY be taken over with a very
    few men if Law Enforcement was infiltrated by KGB.
    A few men could round up the masses like sheep.
    I wonder if some of that is going on? After all we do have a Communist president.

    The Feds WANT Martial Law. They are controlled by TRAITORS at the HIGHEST level of government.
    Problem. Reaction. Solution. Look it up.
    FEDS are pre-positioning equipment with local Police in preparation to make WAR upon Americans.
    That is what the 1033 program is really about.

    We as Americans MUST take back our Freedom or loose it For Generations.

    Rioting is bad. Looting there is NO Excuse for.
    But Police can NOT CONTINUE being thugs and MURDERING unarmed Americans without consequences.
    People have had ENOUGH. ACCOUNTABILITY.

    We also need ACCOUNTABILITY for those guilty of TREASON. IMPEACH this anti American president.

    PS-Back to local Sheriff. Sheriff is elected. His officers reflect on him. If he wants to keep his job, then people need to like his organization and him. It is called ACCOUNTABILITY. You do NOT have that with many State, Local PD, or FED agencies.

    PSS-No offense to LEO’s of OathKeepers. You understand what the FEDS are doing/planning or there would be no need for Oathkeepers. You also have had Enough. FED government TRAITORS are turning Law enforcement against their own people.

    [Editor’s Note: Mr. Jim not so Slim, thank you for placing that disclaimer for our Oath Keepers cops at the end of your screed. If you are a bit blunt, your inherent honesty does come through your words, so I would like to offer you (and all Oath Keepers everywhere) a few links which will show you the research which fortifies your claims. These articles will enhance your understanding and also give you much more powerful info about the militarization of the police.

    Let’s start with the latest by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr. –

    Follow that up with a close read of this one, which is packed with facts and figures as well as individual scenarios on the public record –

    And this one is part two of one of my old pieces from 2011, in case you missed it –

    There are others, but if you read these three you’ll be led to many more. The volume of written info on the subject of the militarization of local police is staggering and one could spend a lifetime condensing it into a series of books of a thousand pages each.

    Hence Oath Keepers.
    Thank you for reading.
    Elias Alias, editor]

  2. “St. Louis County law enforcement agencies have, through the 1033 Program, acquired the following ‘tactical’ equipment, according to Mike O’Connell, Communications Director for the Missouri Department of Public Safety:”

    But it is all “Obama’s” fault and the Democrat Branch of the Republican-Democrat ONE Party.

    My question is what Branch of the ONE Party led the way to the enactment of the “Patriot Act” –the law that set up everything into place. My question is where is the famous oil painter that created the Department of Homeland Security. Obama has got a lot of help.

  3. Those in charge of government are turning POLICE against their own people.
    Those in charge of government are attempting to turn our USA MILITARY against their own people.
    Maybe that is why 500 plus military officers are being fired? A purge of those that love America.
    DHS is a “Republican Guard” that plans on killing Americans for a TRAITOR criminal president.

    Control the Military, Control the Police, control the country.
    Those with the guns control the country. That is reality.
    That is also why leftist try so hard to disarm Americans.
    If a TREASONOUS government controls the Military and the Police.
    They can do whatever they want to Americans.
    A quite war taking over our American Republic.
    But if well armed Americans perceive and understand that we are being taken over. Then the war against our freedom will not be so quite. That is why Police, Military, are being PURGED of freedom loving good Americans.

  4. The thing that bothers me most is that we all act as if their unconstitutional actions and decrees are real instead of the “color of law”, PRETEND laws that they are HERE. IF we accept that they are real, and act as if they are real, they are.

    Patriot Act, NDAA, warrantless arrests, etc are NOT LEGAL HERE EVER. “By providing law enforcement agencies with surplus military equipment free of charge, the NDAA encourages police to employ military weapons and military tactics” is NOT legal here EVER. They are just governmental gangs being used to destroy America from within.

    If you believe in the US Constitution it is then ONLY real supreme law in this nation, and it must be enforced LAWFULLY, and other treasonous actions taken knowingly or not fought constitutionally. Enforcement is the key, and the US Constitution tells us EXACTLY WHO is lawfully given that duty.
    It is not governmental professional law enforcement as the US Constitution did not give any government agency the authority to create them.

    The wording of the Presidential Oath was established in the Constitution in Article II, Section 1, Clause 10. The requirement for all Federal and State Civil officers to give their solemn and binding Oath is established in Article VI, Section 1, Clause 4. They are BOUND BY THEIR OATH to support the Constitution, and should they abrogate their Oath by their acts or inaction, are subject to charges of impeachment and censure – mostly representatives and judges, felony/criminal and civil charges.

    Domestic enemies pursue legislation, programs against the powers of the US Constitution. They work on destroying and weakening the Rights of the People guaranteed by the Constitution. Plus they create laws, amendments, etc that goes against the restraint on the three branches of our government by the Constitution.

    There are many good law enforcement officers.

    The problem is that they are STILL accountable for the choices they make and the orders they follow. They can be traitors to the USA by just following orders; by just doing their job (Nuremberg Trials). Yet, if they do not do those things, if they do not keep that “thin blue line”, and “have their fellow officers backs” whatever crimes they may commit, then they might find themselves under attack or even murdered by their fellow officers as a traitor to them. The choice is do they support this nation or will they stay part of the current treasonous and worse, terrorist governmental professional law enforcement that we are seeing militarized and used against the American people and the USA itself today.

    28 C.F.R. Section 0.85 Terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

    I know I am not “winning friends” by saying this, but that matters not. What matters is that it makes you think of exactly what the consequences are, or might be for the actions you take or do not take today. Do you want to live under a regime, under complete control of others, deciding where you will get to live, what you will be allowed to do, own your own property; or do you like to make your own choices? Do you care that YOU are being used to destroy this nation and all it stands for from within? Did you even realize that?

    Will you be one of the traitors to the USA that will injure, disarm, murder US citizens because you are ordered to do so. If so, welcome to the Nazi Germany version of America. Do not expect to do so without a fight. When governmental professional law enforcement was created to “replace” the Militia of the several states (in theory), but in in fact to be used within to destroy this nation.

    YOUR choice is to keep doing the duties the US Constitution assigned to the Militias which is to:
    – Enforce the US Constitution and each state’s Constitution,
    – Enforce and keep the “Laws of the Union” (which is constitutional laws ONLY),
    – Protect the country against all enemies both domestic and foreign, and
    – “to suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”.

    Or to keep committing terrorism and treason against the USA and her people.

    Oliver Ellsworth, Connecticut Convention, stated clearly: “This Constitution DEFINES the extent of the powers of the general government. If the general legislature, Congress should at any time overleap their limits, if the United States go beyond their powers, if they make a law which the Constitution does not authorize, it is void”. (caps are mine)

    “What is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.” George Mason, 1788

    “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed.” Noah Webster, 1787

    “The said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” Samuel Adams, 1788

    “The militia is our ultimate safety. We can have no security without it. The great object is that every man be armed.” Patrick Henry

    “Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves.” William Pitt, 1783

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” Cicero (58 B.C.)

  5. The important thing to remember, and I cannot take credit for it, is that The United States is “of the people, by the people and for the people”. When you make us, the people of this country, your enemy you make yourself, by definition, an enemy of the United States.

    And this is not just true by definition, this is true in fact. You are the enemy of what the United States was and is supposed to still be: The land of the free. Arthur (commenter)

  6. Also log into the Rutherford Institute, attorney John Whitehead. He’s been defending Americans from unconstitutional attacks by LE for decades. Connect the dots back to Paula Jones & Monica Lewinsky…you know, the dress? He represented Paula Jones against her perverted boss, Governor William Jefferson Clinton.

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