State Taxpayers Will Pay For 5 Year Border Surveillance Program In Cochise County


The $18 million price tag to staff and operate the Southern Arizona Border Regional Enforcement (SABRE) Team for the next five years will be paid by state taxpayers due to an arrangement between the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) and the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.

SABRE utilizes dozens of cameras and other surveillance technology to monitor for criminal activity along known drug and human smuggling corridors for criminal activity. Members of the Arizona National Guard have been actively assigned to the SABRE program, relaying information from the monitoring system to law enforcement personnel for investigation.

Read more by Terri Jo Neff >>

Utilizing the skills of the Arizona National Guard within SABRE was an arrangement undertaken in 2017 with the strong support of then-Gov. Doug Ducey. However, Katie Hobbs made it clear during her campaign for governor she did not expect to continue the Guard’s involvement.

DEMA officials recently announced that the National Guard personnel assigned to SABRE will be ending their mission this month. To fill that gap, DEMA allocated $18 million as a grant to Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels to hire, train, and pay six sworn deputies and 28 fulltime civilians over the next five years.

Acceptance of the grant, which requires no matching funds from Cochise County taxpayers, was approved last month by the county’s Board of Supervisors. The funds include much-needed upgrades to equipment and support the SABRE mission.

County officials pointed to the economic impact of nearly three dozen quality jobs in the area, while assuring a vital tool for law enforcement remains in place. Applications for Camera Room Monitors are now being accepted. The positions qualify for the Arizona State Retirement System.

Additional information about the available jobs can be found at here.

Dannels expressed his appreciation for the important work the Arizona National Guard has performed over the last several years with SABRE to help protect the state’s southeastern border.

“These military professionals have provided vital support to this office during a time where our southern border presents a plethora of complex public safety challenges,” Dannels said Wednesday. “As their service mission comes to a conclusion, I applaud and salute these soldiers for helping making Cochise County a better and safer place to live.”

A statement released Wednesday by a Cochise County spokesperson noted that since SABRE’s inception it has assisted in the detection of 116,700 undocumented aliens, the apprehension of 37,423 undocumented aliens, and the arrest of 437 alleged drug smugglers.

The SABRE team’s efforts have also led to seizure of hundreds of pounds of illegal drugs including methamphetamine, the statement noted.

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1 Comment

  1. So the Feds say AZ can’t do anything to stop the flow of illegal immigrants because it’s a federal responsibility but now state taxpayers have to pay for this surveillance system. Glad we’ll have that, at least until Hobbs cancels the whole thing like she is removing the National Guard. Wouldn’t want to slow down her cartel buddies after all.

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