The University of Maryland, College Park Police Department is getting rid of an arsenal of military weapons.
Dr. Darryll Pines, the university’s new president, announced the department is divesting from the federal government’s 1033 program, which gives local police departments free surplus military equipment.
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.”
“We have much more progress to make, and we will make it together,” he wrote.
University of Maryland Police Department Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas said that equipment 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. 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.