Border patrol agents in Ohio have a new tool to fight against smugglers, human traffickers and terrorists.

"Sheriff Bob Reid launched the newest weapon in the Northern Border Patrol efforts, a 35-foot Boston Whaler specially equipped with technology and tools to assist in the Northern Border Initiative’s efforts to combat smuggling, human trafficking, terrorism and other crimes," said Public Information Officer John O'Brien.

The Whaler's equipment was chosen specifically to assist the mission of the Northern Border Initiative, which is a collaboration between the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Cleveland Division of Police, Lakewood Police Department, Transportation Security Administration and the Clevland County Sheriff's Office, Cleveland Police Department and Cleveland Fire Joint Dive Team.

Law enforcement use the boat to provide security along the waterfront during events like air shows, concerts and other riverside events. During the past three years, the sheriff's office reported dozens of rescues and responses to incidents using the boat.

The sheriff's office said the boat's technology can thwart a wide variety of crimes. The on-board nuclear radiation detection equipment allows officials to detect threats like dirty bombs to provide a unified picture of both land- and water-based imagery. A forward-looking infrared imaging system (FLIR) allows officials to continue operations in low light and sonar equipment allows the detection of underwater threats or smuggling attempts.

Photo courtesy of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office

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Government Technology managing editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of marketing and communications experience, writing about public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she graduated from the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.

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