Federal Funding aimed to Increase Cooperation along Northern Border

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, today announced $653,000 in federal funding to build upon the coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement efforts to protect our Northern Border.
“At 5,500 miles, the Northern Border between the United States and Canada is the longest common land border in the world and protecting it to keep North Dakotans safe is a top priority,” said Heitkamp. “When we increase the cooperation and communication between different law enforcement agencies, we can better protect and enforce our laws while keeping law enforcement officers safe. The federal funding announced today will support law enforcement efforts along North Dakota’s Northern Border to better coordinate their efforts and secure our border with Canada.”
Just last month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its intent to create a new strategic plan to better tackle chronic and emerging issues along the Northern Border. The new strategy came directly as a direct result of Heitkamp’s Northern Border Security Review Act – now law – which mandated the assessment of the unique security and personnel challenges along the Northern Border. Her bill sought to address the specific concerns she and then-DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas heard about in April 2015 from federal, state, county, and local officials and law enforcement while visiting Pembina when she brought Mayorkas to North Dakota. Heitkamp heard similar feedback during other meetings she held in North Dakota and at a Senate hearing she pushed for on the issue. Heitkamp’s bill passed unanimously in both the Senate and House.
This federal funding is made available through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Operation Stonegarden (OPSG) which helps strengthen cooperation between state, local, federal, and tribal law enforcement agencies to keep our northern border safe. In June, Heitkamp encouraged government agencies to apply for this funding as well as to announce over $6.8 million in federal funding to prevent, protect, and respond to terrorism by making sure law enforcement have the training and resources they need to handle all types of situations.