More than a dozen Arizona agencies along the state's southern border will receive nearly $10 million in federal grants to help cover costs associated with border-related crime.
Gov. Jan Brewer allocated the money on Monday. She had announced in April that she planned to use up to $10 million in federal stimulus money to help law enforcement pay for costs associated with illegal immigration, including drug trafficking and human smuggling.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety and Cochise County are the largest cash recipients. Each will get nearly $1.6 million.
According to a breakdown provided by the Governor's Office, DPS will use its money for personnel costs, half a dozen four-wheel-drive patrol vehicles and infrared ground-based telescopes.
Cochise County will use its money for a variety of communications and other equipment, including satellite phones, SUVs, night-vision scopes, thermal imagers and weapons.
Yuma County and the Tohono O'odham Nation will also get a sizable amount of money, $907,000 and $815,000, respectively.
Other entities receiving grants are Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, Nogales, Patagonia, Sahuarita, San Luis, Somerton, Pima County, and the Fort Yuma-Quechan and Cocopah tribes.
The grant awards come as the federal government announced that it will send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border on Aug. 1.
The Obama administration is sending a total of 1,200 troops, 524 of whom will be assigned to Arizona. They will be used primarily in port-screening operations and as criminal analysts.
Brewer, a critic critic of the federal government's border-security efforts, said the allocation was inadequate in a statement released by her office Monday.
While . . . more resources (are) welcomed, it does not appear to be enough or tied to a strategy to comprehensively defeat the increasingly violent drug and alien smuggling cartels that operate in Arizona on a daily basis," the statement said.
The White House has said the Obama administration has allocated more resources to border security than any administration.
by Ginger Rough
Jul. 20, 2010