U.S., Canadian officials announce integrated cross-border maritime law enforcement program

Pacific Northwest Coast Guard NewsWHITE ROCK, British Columbia (courtesy Public Safety Canada) — Today, the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, along with United States Consul General in Vancouver, Anne Callaghan on behalf of U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, announced that Vancouver/Blaine and Windsor/Detroit will be home to the first two regularized locations of the integrated cross-border maritime law enforcement operations – known as Shiprider. The announcement was made in White Rock, British Columbia.

“Our Government is committed to the safety and security of all Canadians. Shiprider is an important security partnership between the United States and Canada, aimed at improving cross-border cooperation,” said Minister Toews. “This Agreement underscores the strong partnership between the U.S. and Canada and our mutual commitment to the safety of a shared border, as well as to ensuring the legitimacy of our trade corridors with our largest trading partner.”

“Delivering on our commitment to develop this integrated bi-lateral approach to maritime border security underscores our recognition of the importance of our shared responsibility for the safety and security of the public on both sides of the border,” said U.S. Consul General Anne Callaghan. “It also takes advantage of the greater benefits to security we’ll receive through leveraging resources and law enforcement officers from both nations in fighting transnational crime.”

Shiprider involves vessels jointly crewed by specially trained and designated Canadian and U.S. law enforcement officers. Working together, armed Canadian and U.S. law enforcement officers are able to transit back and forth across the border to deal with cross-border criminality in shared Canada–U.S. waterways.

“By placing RCMP and USCG officers on a single patrol vessel, Canada–U.S. Shiprider not only allows Canada and the U.S. to leverage law enforcement resources, but also provides the operational flexibility required to interdict suspect vessels across jurisdictions,” said Assistant Commissioner Todd Shean on behalf of RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson.

Shiprider represents a truly cooperative approach to conducting integrated cross-border maritime enforcement and security operations.

“Regularized Canada–U.S. Shiprider Operations will be governed by a bilateral Framework Agreement that includes public oversight, accountability provisions and specialized training requirements,” said USCG Rear Admiral, Keith Taylor. “There will also be provisions on information sharing and privacy protection that respects domestic sovereignty.”

Regularized Shiprider operations respect the sovereignty of both Canada and the United States and are based on the principles of shared border management, effective law enforcement, appropriate and measured information sharing, and robust privacy protection. Shiprider operations enhance both Canadian and American security in our shared waterways.

On February 4, 2011, Prime Minister Harper and President Obama released the Beyond the Border Action Plan, articulating a shared vision in which our countries work together to address threats at the earliest point possible while facilitating the legitimate movement of people, goods and services across our shared border. The Action Plan, released on December 2011, outlines the specific steps our countries intend to take to achieve the security and economic competitiveness goals outlined in the Beyond the Border Action Plan.

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