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DHS Seeks Local Input on Border with Bi-monthly Calls

Audio

Aired 4/20/09

Department of Homeland Security officials are hosting regular conference calls with law enforcement officials in border communities like San Diego to help inform border policy. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

A spokesman for the Secretary of Homeland Security says the goal of the calls is to open lines of communication.

The Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, or her chief of staff hosts them.

They take place twice a month.

Police and Sheriffs from border states participate, including San Diego's Undersheriff Bill Gore. He says the dialogue is important.

"The name of the game is coordination. And what I think this unique opportunity is is a willingness on the people in Washington D.C., the federal government, to really take an interest in what is going on out here," says Gore.

Gore says the President's border plan is a great start. Among other things, it calls for more agents and more intelligence sharing centers.

Critics say the government needs to add oversight if it adds more agents. And they say as the government adds new technology, they need to add privacy protections that guard border crossers' personal information.

Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

 

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