Friday, April 02, 2010

Luna Co. Sheriff calls meeting on border security

A meeting Wednesday on increasing border security included getting cell phone service in less-populated areas such as Southwest New Mexico. Luna County Sheriff Raymond Cobos called the meeting, held at the Mimbres Valley Learning Center to accommodate the 75 or so who attended, in response to the shooting death last Saturday of Arizona Rancher Robert Krentz, 58, on his ranch between Douglas and Apache. "We need cell phones," said James Johnson, "whose family farms in Southern Luna County. "We need to look at this as an issue of national security. We need to be able to cut through the bureaucratic red tape and get something done." The meeting was attended by area and regional law enforcement, government agency reps and ranchers and farmers. Xochitl Torres, of Sen. Tom Udall's office; Jake Rollow, of Sen. Jeff Bingman's office; and Ginette Magaƶa, of Rep. Harry Teague's office, attended. They are aware of the cell phone absence, they said. "We've been looking at Broadband," Torres said of one option. Johnson raised the cell phone issue years ago, as ranchers, farmers and others met with area officials in a Border Security Task Force. Radios were supplied to help ranchers in outlying areas with emergency contacts. Those phones, some said Thursday, no longer work. Law enforcement personnel told ranchers and farmers to be vigilant, report what seems out of place, be aware of surroundings and, if possible, not to work alone outside in remote areas...more

Yes, I know what you're thinking about ranchers not working alone in remote areas.

The article quotes John Wheeler, New Mexico's Secretary of Homeland Security, as saying "In addition to the operation, one of the keys is the amount of dissemination of information. Knowledge is power." How profound. Of course, they had just requested cell towers so they could provide and receive information. I'm sure these poor Luna Co. locals didn't realize what a powerful tool that was until Secretary Wheeler told them. After all, they didn't use the word "dissemination".

No comments: