Bridging the Interoperability Gap through Integrated Partnerships

Policing more than 5,200 miles of border has its challenges. The greatest challenge—beyond the remoteness, the lack of infrastructure, and the sheer size of the task—is that line of demarcation drawn on the map. For law enforcement in both Canada and the United States, that line has long been a barricade to effective cooperation. It establishes two distinct countries, two governments, two sets of laws, and myriad bureaucratic and legal encumbrances that hinder each country’s ability to effectively enforce its respective customs and border enforcement mandates.

In fact, the border is often an enabler of criminal enterprise. Its existence affects the supply and demand paradigm. Smugglers can charge high prices for moving goods, and those prices increase if the illegal commodity moves a few feet across the border. However, law enforcement is prevented from crossing the border to disrupt the smuggling.