From the Pentagon to the Police: The 1033 Project

As we saw in Ferguson, and most recently in Dallas and Baton Rouge, every day American police look less like a neighborhood watch and more like a paramilitary force. Here's how and why that happened.

For over a year, Shawn Musgrave tracked military transfers from the Pentagon to police via the “1033 Program.” Here’s the final report, produced in collaboration with The Marshall Project.

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Image via Wikipedia Commons and is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

14 Articles

The strangest military gear on campus police’s back to school shopping list

Through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, police departments are eligible to receive secondhand supplies once used by the U.S. military. Among the participating agencies are those hired by public educational institutions – state colleges, universities, and K-12 school districts. Some of these items are pretty standard, some are frightening to think about, and some are pretty difficult to make sense of. Below are a few of the latter.

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Do your local police have banned military equipment?

Today, the Obama administration announced an immediate ban on certain types of military equipment transfers to local police. However, it’s unclear what that means for ordnance the police may already posses - thanks to an earlier collaboration with The Marshall Project, you can find out if your local law enforcement agencies have any of the restricted gear.

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North Carolina’s 1033 program data is clearly public, says state Attorney General

The North Carolina Attorney General has spoken: the state must, in fact, release data detailing which police departments received excess military equipment. The ruling reverses the position taken by state public safety officials that disclosing this information would be akin to publishing a blueprint for scofflaws.

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How we got the Pentagon to reveal what gear they gave cops

In late November, with no formal public announcement, the Pentagon released the spreadsheet we’ve been requesting for more than a year. Here’s how we made it happen.

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The Pentagon Finally Details its Weapons-for-Cops Giveaway

You may have heard that the image-conscious Los Angeles Unified School District chose to return the grenade launchers it received from the Defense Department’s surplus equipment program. You probably have not heard about some of the more obscure beneficiaries of the Pentagon giveaway.

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The Defense Logistics Agency feels that releasing police military equipment transfer data is a safety risk. A majority of states disagree.

Only a handful of states outright refused to provide spreadsheets on assault rifles, armored vehicles, and other decommissioned military equipment transferred to police by the Pentagon. But the Defense Logistics Agency vaguely claims that releasing the same data would be dangerous.

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Massachusetts State Police want almost $600 for release of 1033 data

As we mentioned last week, Massachusetts was one of just thirteen states to refuse to release data on military equipment transfers to local police. While we’re still in the process of appealing their refusal to release their inventory forms, the Massachusetts State Police have changed their tactic for similar requests related to the 1033 program, and are now asking for almost $600 for their release.

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Only thirteen states refuse to release data on Pentagon equipment transfers to police

The majority of states — 37 to date — have released spreadsheets indicating which police departments received weapons, armored vehicles and other military equipment via the Pentagon’s 1033 program. But six states rejected MuckRock’s request outright, plus another six say they don’t them … and then Louisiana wants $5,000 to print them out.

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New York releases complete list of law enforcement agencies’ military gear

Combined, New York law enforcement agencies have received nearly 300 assault rifles via the 1033 program, plus three fully tracked armored vehicles, two cargo planes, six helicopters, eight bomb robots and more than 150 military trucks and Humvees.

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Massachusetts is one of the few states holding on to its 1033 data

While almost seventy percent of states have turned over the agency-by-agency data, Massachusetts is in the sad minority of holdouts - leaving several huge items unaccounted for.

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1033 Project’s statewide data update

With Pennsylvania’s release of its statewide 1033 data yesterday, we now have the agency-by-agency item list for 33 states. Browse through an updated list, and follow our efforts to get the holdouts to cooperate.

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California releases its 1033 program data

The California Office of Emergency Services today released an inventory of equipment received by state and local law enforcement via the Pentagon’s 1033 program. A handful of school district police departments participate in the program, including the Los Angeles School Police Departments, which has received more than 50 assault rifles, three grenade launchers and a mine resistant vehicle.

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We have over half the country’s agency-by-agency 1033 data …

We’ve submitted a FOI request in each state for a detailed breakdown of military equipment transferred to local police departments. We’ve gotten back 26 so far, including Florida, Missouri, and the sleepy hamlet of Cut and Shoot, Texas.

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Every item distributed to local law enforcement by the Pentagon’s 1033 program over two years

MuckRock is pushing the Defense Department to release agency-by-agency data on the 1033 program, which transfers excess property from the military to state and local law enforcement nationwide. In the meantime, we’ve obtained via FOIA a complete roster of all participating agencies as well as transfer data down to the state level.

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52 Requests