Dear Madam Speaker and Representative McCarthy,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our opposition to an amendment to H.R. 4350, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022.” The FOP urges all Members of the House to vote against H. Amdt. 534, which would impose restrictions on an important program that allows State and local law enforcement agencies to obtain equipment they would not otherwise be able to afford.
The FOP has long supported the 1033 program, which is a surplus equipment program administered by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). It is important to understand that equipment received through the 1033 program is demilitarized and repurposed for public safety use. Simply because a piece of equipment was originally purchased–with our tax dollars–by the DoD does not make it military equipment. A tool is defined by its use. The equipment is used to defend and protect officers and civilians from threats and to carry out law enforcement and public safety objectives like search and rescue missions and disaster response.
There is no data, study, or other information to support the contention that State and local law enforcement agencies are misusing equipment obtained through this program. For this reason, on behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, we urge Members of the House to vote against H. Amdt. 534. If I can provide any additional information on this issue, please feel free to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington office.