CBP’s El Centro Sector Fighting Crime Using Thermal Imaging Technology

Criminals aren’t the only ones who are taking advantage of some of the newest technology.

Border Patrol agents in the El Centro Sector, up until this point, didn’t have many tools in their arsenal to stop drug traffickers from flying drugs across the border using ultra-light aircraft. But agents are now introducing new thermal imaging equipment that they say will help stop drug traffickers from moving their drugs through the air.

Patrolling the Skies with Thermal Imaging Equipment

General Dynamics Global Imaging Technologies has been awarded the contract for providing Border Patrol agents with a long-range, thermal-imaging camera. This $67,000 piece of equipment, said the Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Fabian Morales of the El Centro Sector, will “enhance our capabilities” as to “protect our borders and communities.”

Morales also said that this thermal-imaging camera has “outstanding long-range target detection and recognition.” The Z-500 camera system has been used by many other Border Patrol sectors across the country, all of whom have reported success with the system. Now, the camera is expected to “maximize the effectiveness of the Calexico station.”

Outsmarting the Criminals

This type of thermal-imaging technology cannot come quickly enough, as there have been reports of criminal organizations using increasingly sophisticated forms of technology to avoid detection, both on land and in the air. Just last year alone, it was discovered that an ultra-light aircraft dropped more than 300 pounds of marijuana as it traveled over the city, while another such aircraft was seized near Niland, carrying more than 12 pounds of methamphetamine.

The new thermal imaging camera is compatible with the Border Patrol’s current remote surveillance system, and it can be mounted on existing equipment. Further, it does not require any additional hardware or software to be successfully implemented.