MOHAVE COUNTY, Arizona — Recurring inquiries to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona concerning equipment it obtained through the Military 1033 program – particularly an armored vehicle known as a mine-resistant, armored-protective vehicle, or MRAP, has prompted a response from the county’s Sheriff Jim McCabe released to media in a letter Wednesday.
The purpose of the equipment obtained through the Military 1033 program is to obtain property that can and/or may be used by the Sheriff’s Office to fulfill its constitutional and statutory duties, the letter said.
According to the Defense Logistics Agency, disposition services Web page, the Military 1033 program was created under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991. Under that Act, Congress authorized the transfer of excess DOD personal property to federal and state agencies for use in counter-drug activities. Congress later passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997; this act allows all law enforcement agencies to acquire property for bona fide law enforcement purposes that assist in their arrest and apprehension mission. Preference is given to counter-drug and counter-terrorism requests.
Many items would never be obtainable given their costs without the Military 1033 program as Mohave County, like other counties, has limited resources to acquire public safety equipment, the sheriff’s letter said.
“Many of the items that are obtained have to be adapted to MCSO’s purposes,” McCabe wrote. “It is possible that some of the items may never be utilized by the MCSO and I will not utilize the equipment for military purposes.”
All items obtained through the Military 1033 program, by the MCSO, were obtained with the protection of lives and property, within Mohave County, in mind, the Sheriff wrote, similar to purchases for other law enforcement equipment.
“There are some who will never be satisfied with any response the MCSO can give regarding equipment obtained through the Military 1033 program and they are certainly entitled to their opinion,” McCabe said in his letter. “However, as Sheriff of Mohave County, I stand by my record and the record of the MCSO in fulfilling my constitutional and statutory duties under Arizona law and our proven record of protecting the lives and property of Mohave County residents to the best of our ability with the resources available to us. Any suggestion that the MCSO has or will misuse any Military 1033 program equipment, simply because of the equipment’s origin, is unfounded and baseless.”
The cost of maintenance and upkeep are concerns for all equipment of the MCSO, regardless of whether it came from the Military 1033 program or not and such costs are and were considered, the letter said.
As to the MRAP, McCabe wrote, he anticipates the vehicle may be used for rescue and other life-saving operations including extracting victims and/or wounded officers in active-shooter situations that unfortunately can occur at schools, the workplace, and other public gatherings. The MRAP may also be useful in standoff situations or even rescues in natural disasters.
One does not have to look too deep to know that Mohave County, Arizona, has its share of standoff/barricade situations and also natural disasters like flash flooding, the sheriff said in his letter.
“Additionally and unfortunately one does not have to search too far back to know that school and workplace shooting violence can occur in very remote and unsuspecting communities.”
Photos of the MRAP, an inventory list that includes all the equipment valuable or sensitive enough to require annual inventory and reporting to the Department of Defense, and a copy of the form outlining the use of said equipment are provided by the MCSO, and included in this report.
See the inventory here: Inventory
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