U.S. Border Patrol Uses Video Games Technology to Help Keep Borders Safe

On the heels of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spending $1 billion on a virtual border fence that the organization recently ditched, it is now investing $1.6 million to test video game technology intended to keep U.S. borders safe. The DHS hopes the project will help improve its decisions on where to spend border security funds.

The virtual fence project was a system of radar, video and other technology aimed at finding illegal immigrants crossing the border. But this past January, the project was scrapped due to missed deadlines and cost overruns. But the DHS hasn’t given up, recently funding the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for a new project: video game simulation that aims to determine how much fence is needed at border sites and how sensors, vehicles and other technical equipment can best be used.

According to a www.foxnews.com article by Mickey McCarter, “The virtual games allow users to track people moving across the border, see how agents respond, and control outcomes to apprehend suspects. Users can also see how many suspects have been apprehended, what resources went into them, as well as the dollar amount spent.”

CBP’s operational units — the Border Patrol, the Office of Field Operations, and the Office of Air and Marine — will now determine whether they will move ahead with full-blown simulations. The agency could build out a simulation of all U.S. borders to include 2,000 miles on southern borders, 4,000 miles on northern borders, as well as ocean borders, the article reported.

In related news, the state of California may let local communities opt out of a controversial national program that automatically checks the immigration status of arrestees. A new bill pushed forward by California Assembly’s public safety committee says local governments wanting to continue with the program “would need to maintain data on arrests and the number of immigrants referred to federal authorities. The program would be applied to immigrants convicted of crimes.”

For more information about the new CBP border project, read the full article:http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/04/28/border-patrol-using-video-games-technology-help-border-safe/

For more information about California’s immigration checks, read the full article:http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hNAwU8ELrlnEqo76B9ktB1I5rRNQ?docId=8aa8749b6bd64570a3ef764bf94edb7d