Canadian and U.S. Agencies Display Readiness to Defend Borders Around Gulf and San Juan Islands

Several Canadian and American agencies recently traveled to the cold waters of the Gulf of British Columbia and Washington’s San Juan Islands to demonstrate their border defense readiness.

Five agencies in total – including British Columbia Federal Police Pacific Marine Policing Program, Canada Border Services Agency, States Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement Branch United States, the U.S. Coast Guard and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Department — conducted a joint maritime law enforcement and safety investigation. exercise over two days from August 19 to 20.

“The remarkable level of inter-agency cooperation exemplified in the execution of this large-scale multilateral joint exercise is a demonstration of our ability and willingness to collaboratively defend against the most serious and complex threats facing Canada. , the United States and the international community,” Will Ng, BC RCMP Criminal Operations Officer, said in a news release.

The coordinated effort between Canadian and US authorities includes conducting exercises to detect, prevent and deter illegal activities at sea that could pose serious threats to the safety and security of both countries.

And while exercises are regularly held at different locations several times a year, this is the first time the BC RCMP Border Integrity Center has been used as an operations command center, providing support maritime intelligence throughout the exercise.

Among the centre’s inventory of advanced technological capabilities are sophisticated sensors, cameras, radar vessel tracking systems and the E2MV (911) system.

The center is a key component of Canada’s border defense system and is particularly well suited to large-scale, long-duration maritime operations, the coordination of land and air assets, and the detection of irregular border activity at the support of law enforcement teams at land borders.

During the live exercise, a number of suspicious vehicles were identified before being boarded by the US Maritime Safety and Security team and accompanying RCMP officers. The investigation of the vessels led to the discovery of several individuals on board who were associated with transnational organized crime activities.

The BC RCMP Border Integrity Program will continue to participate in joint maritime operations as it not only strengthens inter-agency partnerships but provides a significant advantage in an era where organized crime is becoming increasingly more sophisticated, said BC RCMP Serious and Organized Crime Media Relations Officer Cpl. Arash Seid.

“(This) allows for more comprehensive shared border coverage and live multi-jurisdictional enforcement action by officers from both countries,” he wrote in a statement to Black Press Media.

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