The surplus giveaway is coming up on its 30th anniversary.

Michelle McCaskill, from the Defense Logistics Agency public affairs office, provided this description of the 1033 program:

LESO/1033 Program

The intent of the Congressionally-authorized 1033 program is to assist state and federal law enforcement agencies in crime fighting and protecting their citizens.

The program was authorized by Congress through the Section 1208 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 1990-1991 to authorize the transfer of excess DoD personal property to federal and state agencies for use in counter-drug activities.

In addition, the National Defense Authorization Act for 1996-1997, Section 1033 authorized the transfer of excess DoD personal property to federal and state agencies in the execution of law enforcement activities to include counter-drug and counter-terrorism missions.

LESO transfers of excess DoD personal property cover the full range of items used by the government: office equipment, blankets and sleeping bags, computers, digital cameras, individual clothing and equipment, aircraft, boats, vehicles and weapons. There are more than 8,000 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies now participating.

Five percent of all the equipment provided to law enforcement agencies through the LESO program are weapons; less than 1 percent are tactical vehicles.

Law enforcement agencies must meet certain criteria to be accepted into the program and all requests for property are screened locally -- initially at the LEA, then by a state coordinator, and finally by LESO.

At the state level

A state coordinator is appointed by the governor. In order to be approved, state coordinators must have a plan of operation that details how they will remain compliant with 1033 Program guidance, policies and procedures. There is a Memorandum of Agreement between DLA Disposition Services and the coordinator in each state.

State coordinators approve and certify the participating law enforcement agencies in their states and work with them regarding program participation.

Customer requisitions for property are approved by the state coordinator and submitted to LESO with a justification. The LESO staff reviews the type of excess property being requested, quantities, etc., before items are released from the DLA Disposition Services’ inventory.

Additionally, each state is visited biennially for a program compliance review to further look at records and property.

Law enforcement agencies do not pay for the equipment but must pay for shipping the items and potential storage costs. All excess DoD personal property is shipped “as is.” All the equipment is excess property.

Each individual agency that acquires equipment is responsible for training its personnel in the proper use, maintenance and repair of the excess DoD personal property assigned to it.