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Arizona, Mexico public safety officers hold rare meeting

(AP Photo/Refugio Ruiz)

PHOENIX — In a rare meeting this week, the head of the Arizona Department of Public Safety met with his Mexican counterpart to discuss ways to combat the drug cartels.

“They both discussed ongoing efforts to combat violent transnational criminal organizations on both sides of the border,” DPS spokesman Bart Graves said. “Of course, these criminal organizations’ talk and trade is drug smuggling and sales.”

Both leaders — Arizona DPS Director Colonel Frank Milstead and the secretary of public safety from the Mexican state of Sonora, Adolfo Garcia Morales — decided that working together is the only way to stop the criminal organizations.

“As a result, communities on both sides of the border can be made safer once these violent drug cartels can be crippled,” Graves said.

Talks will continue between the two  agencies as they work to strengthen their partnership.

“Milstead and Garcia Morales agreed that by combining efforts through communication, education, intelligence and sharing all of those entities that great strides can be made to disrupt and dismantle these criminal syndicates,” Graves said.

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