Photos: Drone boat, surveillance gear displayed at Border Security Expo


by Ryan O'Donnell and Associated Press

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 7 at 10:29 AM

PHOENIX -- For two days, the latest and greatest in border security will be on display in downtown Phoenix.

The 6th Annual Border Security Expo runs Tuesday and Wednesday at the Phoenix Convention Center and features more than 100 exhibitors displaying a variety of equipment available to assist law enforcement officers in their jobs.

Representatives from more than 40 states and 15 countries are attending the event.

They will see things like an unmanned patrol boat, along with surveillance cameras and radar systems that can spot a person or vehicle at a distance of eight miles.

There is also a variety of vehicles designed for desert driving and equiped with attack gear like .50-caliber machine guns

Organizer Michael Rosenberg said in the past five years, this expo has become the largest of its kind in the world.

Along with beefed-up border security, new protection for police officers is also on hand, including a car deemed by Motorola Solutions as a "Smart Car." It's a police car that responds to verbal commands and uses cameras to capture license plate numbers and run them automatically.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer spoke at the expo on Tuesday to a room of law enforcement and those in the border technology industry.

The governor blasted the federal government for failing to secure the U.S.-Mexico border while invoking the names of a slain rancher and Border Patrol agent.

Brewer told the audience that the immigration issue isn't about prejudice but about securing the border and keeping Americans safe.

She said that no amount of distortion can hide the absolute truth -- that Republicans and Democrats alike in Washington "have failed every single American."

Brewer said that has resulted in overburdened emergency rooms, immigrant-related crime happening in Americans' backyards and taxpayers having to foot the bill.