PHOENIX - Companies showing the latest in border security technology gathered at the Phoenix Convention Center for the Border Security Expo, all demonstrating what their new gadgets could do in Arizona's immigration battle.
"It's a great way to get the word out," said Paul McDuffee, Assoc. Vice President of INSITU in Washington, D.C.
Today, McDuffee is showing of his company's newest inventions, the Scan Eagle and Night Eagle unmanned flying surveillance drones.
"It's the kind of technology that's made for this," said McDuffee. "Gathering information, gathering intelligence, protecting our agents on the ground and tracking illicit activity without putting unnecessary risk to our troops on the ground."
The Eagles are collapsible and transport easily from place to place. They are also small enough that they draw little attention to themselves when flying, and they don't need an airport runway to get off the ground.
The flying drones are only one of many drones on display. Drones that can travel by air, land, and sea were also out for the Expo. The latest in automated surveillance camera technology was also on the floor, complete with infrared and night vision cameras. And finally, the latest weapons for border patrol officers were on table.
"We're really looking at getting better weapons right now," said Nogales Police Chief Jeff Kirkham. "Certainly, we need to have weaponry that can at least match those that might be used against us."
According to Kirkham, new weapons are becoming a bigger necessity for his officers; he cites new information from border intelligence groups that say cartels will be providing better arms for their smugglers to use.
Leaders from all over the world came for the Expo. In fact, authorities from 15 different countries attended trying to get a look at their available option to protect their own borders. Governor Jan Brewer was among them.
"There's absolutely no reason why our border can't be secure with that kind of technology," said Brewer. "The federal government needs to step up and choose what the best technology is, and use that along with the National Guard and Border Patrol to keep our citizens safe."