The USBP El Centro Sector has been provided with 42 Remote Video System (RVS) camera towers. Each tower has two standard video cameras and two FLIR body heat detecting cameras. These camera towers are distributed so as to monitor the key high traffic areas from the far western mountains rising 6,000 feet from the desert floor on the west to the massive sand dunes near the distant Arizona border.
It may be of interest that the desolate sand dunes to the far east of this sector were used for the exterior shots of the motion picture Star Wars.
These RVS cameras act as a “force multiplier” in that agents can spend their time apprehending instead of patrolling. The central monitoring facility for these cameras is at the Calexico station.
The second method of detecting incursions into the United States from Mexico is the use of seismic detectors. These detector systems are placed along key transit points along the border. Each detector can sense footsteps, the magnetic signature of cars or guns, and even the heat signature of a distant motor vehicle.
Because the areas involved are so vast, helicopters are used to provide fast response.
The threat from the south is quite substantial and any seismic activity is met with rapid response. It was less than three minutes from setting off a seismic sensor to a helicopter overhead.
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