Skip to comments.Protecting the U.S. border [Security system can sense crossings]
Posted on 03/05/2012 11:36:30 AM PST by SandRat
Glenn Spencer, president of the nonprofit border watch group American Border Patrol, is hopeful the state will pursue a new border security system, known as the Sonic Barrier, which can sense people, vehicles, aircraft and even tunneling within 200 yards of the U.S./Mexico border.
On Thursday, Spencer appeared before the Arizona Senates Committee on Border Security, Federalism and States Sovereignty in Phoenix to present details on the system. He did so in his role as founder and president of Border Technology, an Arizona corporation.
Components of the Sonic Barrier, including batteries, solar panels and analog/digital convertors, could be linked into a five-mile continuous stream. A small computer and an antenna would send the information to a central collection site.
If fully implemented in Arizona, either state or local personnel, including paid staff or volunteers located anywhere in the state, would monitor the system and when they detect illegal immigrants crossing the border, they would notify the U.S. Border Patrol.
During the Senate committee meeting, Mike King, vice president of Border Technology, presented a live demonstration of the system. Using an IP-based camera located on a ranch at the border, he had a group of people walk north from the border toward where one-half mile of the Sonic Barrier was buried.
When the group got within about 400 feet of the buried sensors, an alarm was sounded and a map popped up on Kings computer showing the location of the intruders. King explained that the system is seamless and will detect anyone walking within no less than 350 feet from the sensor line, Spencer stated on the American Patrol website on Friday.
The Herald/Review reported in February of last year that the Sonic Barrier was being tested on a half-mile area in Cochise County. Then, two weeks ago, full-scale tests of the system were performed for the media at the American Border Patrol ranch near Hereford.
For the past three months, we have been working to marry underground seismographs to our Sonic Barrier algorithm. This meant reworking the firmware inside the seismic hardware. This turned out to be a huge task highly technical but we accomplished it at last, Spencer told the Herald/Review two weeks ago.
After seeing how the system works with multiple sensors being analyzed simultaneously, we found ways to greatly improve performance, he added on Thursday. This means adding lines to the cable system and calibrating each sensor after installation to name just a few of the improvements.
This added to the cost, which was earlier estimated at $50,000 to $70,000 per mile. The ballpark turn-key price is now about $100,000 per mile. It could be installed on 1,000 miles of border for what Boeing wasted on 50 miles in Arizona for the SBInet virtual fence, he said. Border Technology will install all systems and turn it over to the client only after it is working per specifications.
I also suggested to the committee that Border Technology would be happy to work with any organization they may wish to send to the border to perform an independent assessment of the system, Spencer told the Herald/Review on Thursday.
Two Democratic lawmakers walked out of Thursdays Senate hearing to protest the presentation by Spencer, who a watchdog organization describes as a vitriolic Mexican-basher. He was invited to speak to the same Senate committee in March of last year, but Republican Sen. Sylvia Allens office withdrew the invitation due to political pressure.
Allen told the Associated Press he is a victim of character assassination by critics who should instead be debating the issues. She said Spencer appeared before the committee she chairs to demonstrate technology his company is developing to detect border crossings. She said she felt very bad about canceling last years appearance after looking into the claims and speaking to him.
I wasnt having him come to the committee to debate illegal immigration, she told the Associated Press on Thursday. I had him come to the committee to share some very important technology that they have developed thats important to look at.
Allen said she has discussed charges of racism and anti-Semitism with Spencer. He said to me I am not racist. He said I get excited and say weve got to secure our border and stop people from coming.
Allen added: I dont know totally Mr. Spencers heart but I know my dealings with him. He has never talked ever in any way that alarmed me. Its just about this technology.
The two Democratic lawmakers who walked out later issued a statement about their protest.
Its truly disgusting that Senate Tea Party leaders have such disrespect for Hispanics, Jews, and other Americans, Sen. Steve Gallardo of Phoenix said in the statement.
Sen. Robert Meza of Phoenix, who also walked out, told the Associated Press on Thursday: Its inappropriate behavior on the part of Senator Allen and we, the diverse people of Arizona, should not enable hate-mongers to be the voice of our state.
Allen said the protest and allegations against Spencer are a symptom of open border people, attacking anybody that is trying to find solutions.
State Sen. David Schapira, a Tempe Democrat who is Jewish, later condemned the invitation on the Senate floor, saying there is anti-Semitic hate speech on the website for Spencers group.
Spencer has focused on border issues since he retired from the oil industry in 1992. He moved from California to southern Arizona and formed the American Border Patrol, a group described on its website as a nonprofit that regularly monitors the border, mostly by air.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, has a profile of Spencer, which states that he may have done more than anyone to spread the myth of a secret Mexican conspiracy to reconquer the Southwest. The center has listed Spencers organization as a hate group since 2001.
Spencer, who was reached by the Associated Press on his cellphone after the committee hearing, denied the allegations against him and called them insane and fabricated.
After all the work we have done especially Mike King and how important the Sonic Barrier could be to the people of Arizona, it is upsetting that the news stories are all about attacks on me, he told the Herald/Review on Thursday. The Sonic Barrier can go a long way toward solving the border problem. I only hope that fact is not lost in all of the sound and fury.
Enforce the law, they won't come, no high tech surveillance needed.
They can equip the border crossings all they want with high-tech sensors, but if our side is only allowed to sit and count the numbers of border jumpers it doesn’t benefit anyone.
But the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the ACLU would insist that it be a by lingual waning sign and then call it a racial hate sign.