Legal Reference

Nut job Sensors Russell Pearce wants sensors in airports to call the narcs when planes land

Police state nut job Russell Pearce wants to put sensors on airstips so every time an airplane lands the BTAF, FBI and INS can be notified of a potential dope smuggler.


Sen. Russell Pearce proposes bill to help cut smuggling

Measure: DPS would seek grants, monitor remote areas

by Alia Beard Rau - Jan. 14, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, is proposing legislation he says will help Arizona fight drug smuggling and illegal immigration by using technology and federal funds.

But some legislators are concerned it may overload the Department of Public Safety, already stretched thin by budget cuts and hiring freezes.

If it becomes a law, Senate Bill 1026 would require DPS to seek grant funding to install high-tech underground seismic sensors at rural airfields. The intent is to monitor remote areas being used for drug and human smuggling.

"We have a war going on, on that border," Pearce said. "The feds aren't going to build a fence, so we have to take responsible action."

He said his bill would cost the state nothing, and federal stimulus money is available for such law-enforcement efforts. The program wouldn't happen if grant funding could not be secured. [Cost nothing my ass! The taxpayers will foot the bill! And Arizonan's pay Federal taxes!]

"When you have limited resources, technology can allow you to respond with less boots on the ground," he said.

But Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor, D-Phoenix, said such a law would be a drain on DPS. "I'm concerned that DPS may not have the resources to comply with the law," she said. "We expect a lot out of our departments, and we have to be realistic in this budget crisis."

DPS Lt. Lynn Ideus said the legislation would require DPS staff time to identify the state's remote landing strips and write grant proposals.

"It would be a substantial undertaking for the department to do this," he said.

Tracy Reingruber of Quantum Technology, which has an office in Tucson, said her company developed sensors the size of tennis balls that have batteries that last up to six months and cost about $5,000 each. She said one or two would cover an airstrip and her company could install them. [Now we hit the nail on the head! It's government pork for Quantum Technology!]

Reingruber said the sensors can determine whether movement is from an animal, person, vehicle or airplane. When triggered, the sensors alert the closest law-enforcement personnel.

Sen. Al Melvin, R-Tucson, said if DPS doesn't have the manpower to make it happen, it should seek additional help from county sheriffs and volunteers.

"I'm hearing a litany of why not to do this, and I'm really disappointed," he said. "We have an obligation here at the Legislature to do everything we can as a state to secure the border."

Phoenix Law Enforcement Association and the Arizona Police Association support the legislation. The Border Action Network opposes it. [Of course they support it. It's a jobs program for cops!]

The bill on Tuesday got a 6-0 vote of support from the Senate Public Safety and Human Services Committee.

It next goes before the Senate Rules Committee.