COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — The University of Maryland Police Department will no longer take part in a program that allows police departments to obtain surplus military equipment for law enforcement use, new UMD President Darryll Pines said Wednesday.
Pines announced the change on his first day as the university’s president. On Twitter, he called the department’s plan to divest from the 1033 program a “big step forward.”
Today I am pleased to announce that @UMPD will divest from the 1033 program that provided military surplus equipment to police departments across the country. Thank you UMPD for this big step forward. We have much more progress to make, and we will make it together. pic.twitter.com/AkKgEgkVkG
— Dr. Darryll J. Pines (@President_Pines) July 1, 2020
“We have much more progress to make, and we will make it together,” he wrote.
University of Maryland Police Department Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas said, “We are removing ourselves from the 1033 program. Equipment that we received through the 1033 program will be returned back to the program.”
The 1033 program has come under increased scrutiny amid the renewed focus on policing sparked by the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, CBS News reports.
According to the Defense Logistics Agency, a part of the Department of Defense, the 1033 program began in the 1990s as a way to get rid of obsolete or unneeded military equipment by giving it to domestic law enforcement agencies.
As of June, around 8,200 agencies nationwide and in U.S. territories took part in the program, the DLA said.