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Border Security Expo returns to Phoenix

PHOENIX — The ninth annual Border Security Expo returned to Phoenix this week.

Each year at the Phoenix Convention Center, several dozen vendors and hundreds of various law enforcement representatives gather to take part in discussions about border security issues and to see the latest in border security technology.

From facial recognition software and covert camera systems, to police body cameras and radar surveillance, vendors from all over the country come to display their goods.

Elizabeth Michelson, executive director of the field support directorate within the Office of Information and Technology of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said some of the technology on the floor of the expo could help make the daily effort of keeping the border secure more manageable.

She said from maritime ports to land border checkpoints, checking all the goods and people that attempt to cross the border each day is a sizable task.

“One million passengers transiting the border on a daily basis, 70,000 containers of cargo…that’s just an astounding number,” Michelson said.

Michelson said each one of those containers has be scanned and checked to make sure there is nothing illegal or prohibited inside, and to speed that process along, she said automation is key.

From automated kiosks that allow agents to interact with travelers remotely to x-ray scanners that can scan an entire truck in one pass, Michelson said technology plays an important role in keeping the U.S. border safe, secure and profitable.

“The faster we can process those legitimate containers…the fast(er) those goods can be distributed,” she said.

The Border Security Expo is a two day event and ends on Wednesday.