Thursday, February 18, 2010

2010 Olympics debut international law enforcement efforts

Pitched competition on the ski slopes and skating rinks aside, the ongoing 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver are proving an opportunity for unprecedented international cooperation between traditional sporting rivals Canada and the United States.

A February 3 news release from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the The Olympic Shiprider program, a joint operation of the U.S. Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Federal Border Integrity Program, which was launched in waters off the Pacific Northwest coast to enhance law enforcement and security operations during the 2010 Winter Games.

The pilot program permits the two nations to conduct cross-border integrated law enforcement operations in shared waterways during the Olympics. Law enforcement vessels will be jointly crewed by specially trained American and Canadian officers authorized to enforce the law on both sides of the international boundary, while respecting the sovereignty of both nations.

“The [program] will maintain the integrity of the Canada-U.S. border, whether land, air or marine, and also increase officer safety during operations,” said RCMP Superintendent Tom Jones. “The operations centre is now fully operational and will remain so following the conclusion of the Games.”

For additional commentary and analysis on the joint North American law enforcement efforts jump-started by the 2010 Olympics, see a January 23 article by Spencer Hsu of the Washington Post.

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