For many years, the federal government has operated a program known in law enforcement circles as the “1033 Program”. Under this program, the Secretary of Defense is authorized to transfer to federal and state agencies, personal property that the Defense Department no longer needs, but could be used by law enforcement activities to combat illegal drugs. Participation is voluntary by each state. New York used to participate, but more recently dropped out of the program due to administrative difficulties. Sheriffs in New York cannot participate if the State chooses not to join the program, so many Sheriffs tried to convince the State to re-join the program, especially since just about every other State does so, and also because it is reported that there are many defense surplus items that could be obtained without spending local tax dollars.
No Sheriff was more vocal about our re-joining the 1033 program than Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum. Sheriff Van Blarcum realized that law enforcement agencies in other states were able to obtain vital equipment without cost, and continually contacted his local and state representatives to encourage New York to participate in the surplus property program. “Law enforcement agencies have been able to acquire aircraft, vehicles, weapons, clothing, biological gear, generators, cameras, and much more” he said, and his efforts have paid off: the State Division of Criminal Justice Services has recently announced that New York will, indeed, rejoin the program. Sheriffs like Paul Van Blarcum are not only dedicated to keeping all of us safe and secure, but they also want to do so in a manner that is efficient and within our financial abilities, especially in these tough economic times. “This program will help us and all Sheriffs in New York State, and I am proud that we were able to convince state officials that this is a worthy and helpful law enforcement too”.
Pictured here is Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum, right, and F/Sgt. Eric Benjamin, who helped in the research of the 1033 surplus property program.