The War on Terror
Like the rest of American society, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 left an incontrovertible impact upon policing as well. With the announcement of Bush's War on Terror, the White House continued its crusades against vague abstractions and ensured its police were up to the task. With the fear of terrorist attacks permeating throughout the country, little notice or opposition was given to continued blurring of the distinction between the police and the military. The War on Terror had quietly been brought home.
Created as a piece of the National Defense Authorization Act in 1997, the 1033 Program was an initiative to donate excess military equipment and arms to American police departments. The program has granted over $5 billion dollars worth of military-grade gear to law enforcement agencies through the Law Enforcement Support Office, granting watercraft, aircraft, weaponry, and vehicles to even suburban police departments and school districts. The program garnered large amounts of criticism following the Ferguson riots for its excessive armament of the police and loose regulations.