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Northern Border Patrol Agents Get High Tech

A 35-foot Whaler outfitted with radiation detection equipment, sonar gear and infrared scanners allows officials to stop smugglers, human traffickers and terrorists.

by , / October 16, 2012
Photo courtesy of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office

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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Noelle Knell Editor

Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.

Colin Wood former staff writer

Colin wrote for Government Technology from 2010 through most of 2016.

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