Senator Gill Requests State Procedures On Transfer
Of Military Equipment To Local Law Enforcement
Calls for Review of State’s Role in Program
TRENTON, NEW JERSEY – Senator Nia H. Gill recently sent a letter to Acting Attorney General John Hoffman requesting information on the state’s involvement in overseeing the transfer of military equipment from the federal government to local law enforcement in New Jersey.
The request comes after the use of armored tanks by police on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, which has brought increased scrutiny to a program that provides military equipment to local law enforcement nationwide. Recent published reports – in The New York Times and today in the Asbury Park Press – indicate that millions of dollars worth of military equipment has been transferred to local law enforcement agencies in New Jersey under the Defense Department’s 1033 program. The equipment received by New Jersey departments ranges from first aid kits and office supplies, to armored vehicles, military rifles and a grenade launcher, according to reports.
Senator Gill has requested information from the Attorney General’s office on the state’s processes and procedures concerning the receipt of federal military equipment by local law enforcement in New Jersey, and called for a review of the state’s role in the program.
“I recognize that some of the supplies provided under the program may be useful to local departments; however, the equipment transferred includes armored vehicles, a grenade launcher and military-style assault weapons. This is equipment that appears suitable for war zones, not for our neighborhood streets,” wrote Senator Gill. “I absolutely believe that we must review the state’s role in administrating the 1033 program, and I know you will agree that any use of this equipment must be carried out with extreme caution and strict oversight. I respectfully request that you provide information on the state’s processes and procedures concerning the receipt of federal military equipment by local law enforcement in New Jersey.”