An Obama administration plan to install new cameras and improved ground sensors along the Southwest border has stalled, potentially creating unnecessary dangers for agents, reports the Los Angeles Times. Officials say a false alarm from a ground sensor in Arizona was to blame when several Border Patrol agents rushed to the remote canyon on horseback Oct. 2, shortly after midnight.
For reasons still unclear, the agents opened fire on one another. One was killed and another wounded. The incident has raised concerns that a deteriorating network of more than 12,800 ground sensors, as well as other outdated technology, could endanger the lives of those who police the long border with Mexico. The initiative, the Arizona Border Surveillance Technology Plan, was launched in 2011 and was projected to cost $1.5 billion over 10 years. The Department of Homeland Security has spent little of the $300 million set aside so far by Congress to buy new camera towers, surveillance trucks. and ground sensors. “They are experiencing delays,” said Ron Colburn, former deputy chief of the U.S. Border Patrol. “It is taking longer than they had hoped.”