The U.S. Border At Night, Part 2
Inside the cab of the truck the Agent has been provided with
a rudimentary viewer. The Agent must sit here in the cab for even
ten hours. His radios are tuned to various frequencies so he can
remain alert to the needs of other Agents and to border areas
of interest. He alerts Agents to the targets he detects on his
video viewer / monitor.
An obvious but important limitation with FLIR is the reality
that such a camera can only "see" an area about 500
feet wide. Thus, the Agent must constantly move the imager on
its pan / tilt head looking for targets. When looking at one target
in one direction smugglers can be crossing in even larger numbers
but out of the camera's field of view.
the image at the left you can see the small image display that
is key to spotting the heat signature of smugglers and others
illegally entering the United States.
These truck mounted systems are moved at dusk from
their daytime storage lots to high-points along the border. The
specific locatin for each FLIR camera truck varies from night
to night to protect the Agent from attack. Where ever a FLIR camera
truck has been placed for the night, large numbers of illegals
or high value / dangerous cargo is expected to come over the border.
The job is tedious but critical.
The actual display -- in this case not the vehicle
see in the previous image -- is in green and white. A simple control
stick allows the agent to pan and tilt the camera which is 20
feet above him.
The large truck frame upon which the camera has
been mounted helps keep the image stable in high winds.
A US Border Patrol Agent is a special breed. He usually works
alone. While the United States Marine Corps might send out a squad
to patrol an area, the Border Patrol Agent patrols by himself.
He can only depend upon his instincts and the support of scarce
new technology to protect him from danger.
is a representative image from his display.
You might contact your congressman and ask him
to start protecting you and your family from the border threat
by funding the United States Border Patrol.