On June 19, Mayor Ben Walsh issued the Syracuse Police Reform Executive Order No.1 and outlined in Action #6 called on the Syracuse Police Department to do the following: conduct a complete inventory of all equipment acquired through military surplus programs that are in possession of the Syracuse Police Department; establish policies and procedures regarding the use of such equipment; and establish parameters for future procurement of such equipment.

Where does Syracuse Police get military equipment?
The City of Syracuse obtains military surplus items through the 1033 Program. The program is run by the United States Department of Defense, and is facilitated by the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services, which acts as the coordinator of the program and plays a role in ensuring cities, towns and villages follow strict rules and guidelines established by the program.

What items does Syracuse Police have in its inventory through the military 1033 Program? 
The link below shares the list of military equipment that the Syracuse Police Department has acquired through the program. 

All items acquired from the program are retired military surplus that would be destroyed otherwise. As such, the City of Syracuse does not pay for any items procured through the program aside from maintenance costs. The only maintenance-related cost incurred to date through the 1033 program equipment was associated with shipping for a replacement MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle tire on August 29, 2019, which totaled $367.88.

Instructions on Navigating DLA .XLS Spreadsheet

  • In the first section click on the “Alaska-Wyoming and US Territories” link.
  • Open the Excel file.
  • Choose the tab for New York and scroll down to rows titled “SYRACUSE POLICE DEPT.”

“Has the City of Syracuse acquired any firearms or other weapons through the 1033 Program?”
The Syracuse Police Department does not currently possess or use any firearms or other weapons associated with the 1033 program. SPD last acquired firearms through the program 23 years ago, when the SWAT team was first equipped with rifles. SPD no longer has possession of the rifles and they have since been destroyed.

Adherence to the rules and guidelines set forth by DOD and DCJS is strictly enforced. Not following these rules and guidelines can result in an agency being restricted in their use of the program or suspended or terminated from the program. 

Who ensures that Syracuse Police use this equipment appropriately?
Syracuse Police are required to submit an annual inventory of controlled property through an online DOD/DLA portal called the Federal Excess Property Management Information System. DOD/DCJS conduct random on-site inspections to ensure the information they receive is accurate. Syracuse Police Department’s last inspection was in 2018.

Terms and Acronyms
  • DOD – Department of Defense
  • DLA – Defense Logistics Agency
  • DCJS – Division of Criminal Justice System

Are there other large military-style items in SPD’s possession that fall outside the 1033 program?
In 2014, the Syracuse Police Department procured a “BearCat,” an armored personnel carrier used by the SWAT team to provide life-saving armor in barricaded suspect call-outs, high-risk warrants, and active shooter scenarios. The interior of the BearCat (the “floor plan”) allows for the response and rescue of injured individuals needing medical attention. The BearCat is not equipped with any weapons.

As part of Executive Order Action #6, the Syracuse Police Department will establish policies and procedures regarding the use of such equipment and establish parameters for future procurement of such equipment.

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