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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

New Bill Seeks to Preserve Trump-Era Military Surplus Program for Police

'State and local law enforcement should have access to life-saving military equipment...'

(Luis CornelioHeadline USAA GOP lawmaker is leading efforts to block President Joe Biden from hindering a Trump-era program that transfers surplus military equipment to state and local police departments. 

Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., announced the Protect Our Police Act, which aims to stop Biden from imposing any restrictions on the 1033 Program. This program allows police departments to acquire military surplus equipment.

In a press statement, Good highlighted that the bill is being introduced with National Police Week, which runs from May 12 to May 18. 

“State and local law enforcement should have access to life-saving military equipment, particularly tools that can be used in response to terrorist attacks, search-and-rescue operations, and natural disasters,” Good stated.

“My legislation will ensure that the brave men and women selflessly serving in law enforcement have the ability to purchase equipment that helps keep our communities safe,” he added. 

The 1033 Program was first expanded by former President Donald Trump through Executive Order 13809, which reversed restrictions placed by the Obama administration. 

The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Andy Harris, R-Md., and Barry Moore, R-Ala. 

Moreover, several organizations back the bill, including the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and Foundation, Inc., the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and The Police Officers’ Defense Coalition, Inc. 

Good cited a 2017 study published in the American Economic Journal, which found that “10 percent increase in the total value of military aid leads to a decrease of 5.9 crimes per 100,000 population.” 

The study also revealed that an estimated transfer of $5,800 worth of military equipment could result in an annual savings of $112,000. 

“This reduces the burden on the American taxpayer and makes the transfer of military surplus equipment to civilian law enforcement an effective tool in crime-reduction,” Good’s press release wrote. 

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