(Ottawa, Canada) Just try to get a warm feeling about this report. Frankly, my confidence, or what there was of it, is shot.
A tangle of conflicting laws on both sides of the border is tying the hands of joint Canada-U.S. border squads, undermining efforts to nab international criminals, says a newly released report.
Team members can't radio one another. They have to surrender their sidearms when crossing into the other country. And they're forbidden from crossing the Canada-U.S. border except at official stations, even though criminals prefer the isolated points in between.
So, the criminals run across the border and the authorities can't even chase them. And, they can't radio to the other side. Just great.
The evaluation, completed in late 2006, found a raft of problems, including incompatible radios that won't communicate with equipment from the other side of the border. The radio problem is partly legal: a cat's cradle of federal, state and provincial laws require special licensing to use designated frequencies on each side of the border.
Gun laws in each country also effectively prevent officers from routinely carrying their duty sidearms and similar weapons into the other country. Canadian laws are so strict an RCMP officer who is given dispensation to carry a sidearm into the United States must forfeit the weapon on re-entering Canada.
, I tell you, just plain nuts.
This has always been a problem with neighboring countries. I would rather have it this way, then allowing law enforcement to have a cross where ever/when ever they want to pass. While such an agreement would not necessarily be a problem with our neighbors to the North, it would open the door for such an agreement with Mexico. I also think this would be just one more step in eliminating the border altogether.
Posted by: Brad on February 12, 2008 06:22 PM