Sunday, March 23, 2014



Arizona senator unveils equipment for virtual border fence
By Mark Remillard
Originally published: Mar 18, 2014 - 5:29 pm

SpotterRF spokesman Logan Harris displays a radar monitor that would be used to help monitor the border between Arizona and Mexico. Each compact unit can surveil up to 20 acres of land for drug and human trafficking. (KTAR Photo/Mark Remillard)

PHOENIX -- Republican State Sen. Bob Worsley unveiled Tuesday equipment that would be used to virtually monitor the border between Arizona and Mexico as part of a bill he's proposed in the Senate.

It's the second attempt at securing the border through means of a virtual fence and Worsley is calling for $30 million to construct 300 watch towers and radar transmitters that will monitor the border for drug and human trafficking and illegal crossing.

Worsley said he is a proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, but that cannot take place until the border is secure and there is quantifiable proof.

"What we're looking at here is the next step for immigration reform in this country," he said. "The states want to know that the border is secure before they're willing to go to the next level and address all of the other complicated issues we have with immigration in this country."

The system of watch towers and radar monitors would allow real-time access to law enforcement to intervene on drug and human trafficking, Worsley said. He added it could also be used a check on the work of law enforcement.

"We would be able to verify as a state that the federal government is in fact doing their job to secure our border," he said. "Ronald Reagan said, 'Trust but verify.'"

The monitoring equipment is being provided by a Utah company called SpotterRF, which manufactures compact surveillance radar.

"These are very small, lightweight radar systems, all solid state, very rugged," said company representative Logan Harris.

The small radar units are placed on top of towers and each one is capable of monitoring up to 20 acres.

"It's able to pick up anyone who is walking and send an alert back through many types of communications networks," he said.

Harris said their compact radar system is unique in that they use a small amount of power and only weigh about one-and-a-half pounds.

The radar provides GPS tracking of movement and the signal is then relayed to a network, which can then be used to program alert zones or geo-fences, said Harris. Then, while working in conjunction with a network of cameras, the radar can automatically pivot and point the camera systems to view whatever has tripped the radar alert.

"The camera points, takes a picture and relays that back through the network," said Harris.

There are still a lot of contingencies for the program to come to fruition, including the bill's passage through the legislature and governor's office, as well as deals that would need to be worked out with private, reserve and federal landowners to allow the towers to be placed on their property.

Worsley said no such deals have been proposed or approved at this time.


Dannels reveals some changes coming to CCSO
Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels was in Douglas Feb. 26 speaking with his officers about some changes coming to the CCSO this year. New cars with a new design, a helicopter plus a drone are some of the additions the CCSO will have in place by the end of the year.

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 10:38 am
Bruce Whetten | Douglas Dispatch |
Posted on Mar 12, 2014
by Trisha Maldonado

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels was in Douglas Feb. 28 speaking to his deputies about some changes that will be coming to the CCSO in the coming months.
The meeting was part of Dannels' annual update and review with his various departments throughout CochiseCounty.
"These are exciting times," the sheriff said.
Since officially taking over as sheriff 14 months ago Dannels has been busy.

Some of the things that were accomplished in 2013 were the creation of the Border Interdiction Team which is responsible for investigation and intel gathering of crimes with a nexus to border issues and violence. The group works throughout CochiseCounty and not specifically on the U.S./Mexico Border. There was also the creation of the SABRE team which is comprised of multi agency personnel.
There were the creations of the ranch patrol as well as the ranch advisory group, a community outreach and public safety program, a detention officer pay plan was also implemented.

The CCSO was also recently equipped with 50 new radars, 40 tasers, 120 Glock handguns and a new boat which will be used for swift water rescue by the Search and Rescue team.

Looking ahead to 2014, the CCSO will be adding a helicopter and a drone which will be stationed out of Sierra Vista in addition to several new patrol cars which have a new design and not have the top lights that are currently on there.
Dannels said the helicopter is being paid for and sustained, out of a foundation grant and includes the pilots, the mechanic, the fuel and the insurance.
The main use of the helicopter will be to respond to high risk events, such as tracking down a shooting suspect or deploying medical personnel in remote areas of the county, the sheriff added.
A new armored vehicle was also purchased which is larger than the current Bearcat vehicle. The new armored vehicle will be used for SWAT and Special Operations.

A drug and alcohol testing program was also implemented. Dannels said he, just like any other officer in his department, will be subject to testing.
"If I expect you to do something then I need to do it too," the sheriff said.
There is also modifications being made to the physical fitness standards forcing employees to conform to state standards.
The Bisbee detention facility is being remodeled to add more housing for special handling such as juveniles and those suffering from a mental ailment.
Dannels also announced the Circle K Corporation is dedicating space in each of their stores for deputies to have a place to establish a computer connection to complete reports or administrative workflow while positively interacting with the public.
A new youth consequence program is also being established which will be directed at youth in the community who are at high risk of poor decision making.
There is also modifications being made to the Sex Offender Registration program which will allow for warrants to be issued for anyone listed as an absconder.

Dannels also announced significant upgrades which will be made to the communications system.
"By the end of this year … the VHF system in CochiseCounty will be the best its ever been," the sheriff said. "We have 560 brand new Motorola mobiles and portables that we've acquired."

Dannels emphasized all the changes and improvements are being done through grants and foundation money.
"None of it is being done through tax payer dollars," the sheriff said.

It is the mission of the Cochise County Sheriff's Office to provide professional, high quality and effective law enforcement and correctional services in partnership with the community.
"We are committed to the protection of life and property; the preservation of peace, order, and safety; the vigorous enforcement of local and state laws; and the defense of the constitution of the state of Arizona and the constitution of the United States of America in a fair and impartial manner," the CCSO mission statement reads.


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