Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano yesterday visited Montana to tour U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations and meet with state and local officials, law-enforcement personnel and private-sector stakeholders regarding DHS’ efforts to secure the Northern border.
“We have made critical security enhancements along our Northern border, investing in additional personnel, technology, and infrastructure to meet the security and operational requirements of our post-9/11 world,” Napolitano said. “DHS is committed to working closely with our federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners and the citizens of Montana to protect the border while facilitating legal trade and travel.”
Joined by Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, and CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin, Napolitano toured CBP operations at the Piegan and Sweetgrass ports of entry to observe cutting-edge technologies such as thermal camera systems and mobile surveillance systems.
The group then traveled to Sunburst, Mont., to discuss with law enforcement about DHS’ ongoing partnerships with federal, state, local, tribal and Canadian law-enforcement agencies along the Northern border to fight transnational crime and drug smuggling.
In Havre, Napolitano and the delegation participated in a town-hall meeting to discuss issues such as partnerships with Canada on trusted-traveler programs and DHS’ efforts to increase staff along the Northern border to boost security and continue to facilitate legal travel and trade.
Napolitano also toured the Westside Great Falls Levee District, reiterating the DHS’ commitment to collaborating with federal, state, local and tribal officials to develop practical solutions that address flooding problems without disrupting economic development.
Today, Napolitano will visit Chicago to deliver remarks to the International Association of Fire Chiefs at Fire-Rescue International 2010; visit key critical-infrastructure sites; and join Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to meet with public and private sector stakeholders, law-enforcement officials and first responders to discuss the DHS’ continued commitment to protecting U.S. transportation systems and critical infrastructure.