U.S., Canada Collaborate on Inland Waterway Security

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
On September 12th, 2005, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and United States Coast Guard (USCG) began a two-week pilot project to enhance inland marine border security. The pilot project, based on the innovative law enforcement concept, known as “Shiprider,” will involve joint marine patrols on the St. Clair River and surrounding waterways in the Windsor/Detroit region.

During the project, USCG officers will join RCMP officers on their vessels, and conversely, RCMP officers will join USCG officers on their vessels. The four 25-foot rigid hull boats taking part in the pilot will patrol and travel in American and Canadian waters in the region.

The Shiprider pilot program will help assess the viability of developing a longer-term Canada-US program for stronger maritime law enforcement and emergency response capacity, which could enhance national security or prevent criminal activity on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. The pilot project is consistent with, and complementary to, commitments outlined in the Security and Prosperity Partnership between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

"The international border between the United States and Canada on the Great Lakes is a source of pride for our two countries. Ironically, for those who would do us harm, this border can be used as a shield for criminal activities,” said Rear Admiral Robert Papp, Jr., commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District. “We will continue our long-standing cross-border cooperation with Canada in search and rescue, ice breaking, aids to navigation and pollution response, and the Shiprider pilot program will extend this collaboration into the missions of law enforcement and national security."

“The RCMP continues to work closely with US law enforcement partners to protect the integrity of the Canada-US maritime border,” said RCMP Chief Superintendent, Mike McDonell, Director General, Border Integrity. “By enhancing our bi-national partnerships, both countries are better able to detect and prevent criminal activities that could pose a serious threat to national and international security.”

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