You have more technology in your cell phone than a border agent has in the field?

Posted on February 16, 2011


  TEMPE, Ariz. — An Arizona State University report says law enforcement agencies along the U.S.-Mexico border need better technology and better coordination of the technology that’s being used.

“You and I have more technology in our cellphone or Blackberry than most of the agents in the field,” said Rick Van Schoik, director of the North American Center for Transborder Studies which released the report Wednesday.

Van Schoik continued, “They can’t downstream an image, they can’t downstream a video. A lot of it is by voice communication. So, while the communications technology exists — the broadband frequencies are dedicated to public safety and security — we have not invested enough in the system and in the individual, what’s called radios, that everyone needs to enable them to work together well.”

The federal government needs to spend more money to make sure technology gets to the right people protecting America’s borders, Van Schoik said.

He said various technologies are in use, “But they’re not working together. They’re not working in a way that really enables the agents to respond to the information and/or the intelligence that’s been developed from those many, many different technologies that are deployed — literally in the tens of thousands — all over the border.”

Perhaps this is one of the reasons only 15% of our southern border is considered “controlled.”