Governor General boards Shiprider in Detroit
A warning to boaters - Shiprider is back on the water.
It’s a cross-border law enforcement program where Canadian and American officers work on the same vessel, patrolling the waterways.
“The key value is to ensure joint security of our shared border,” says Douglas George, Consul General of Canada in Detroit. “You'll see the Detroit River is very narrow here, and if the USCG was chasing a suspect, all that suspect had to do, before this, was cross the imaginary line.”
The US Coast Guard conducted about 116 patrols on both sides of the border, executing the programs first international seizure on Lake St. Clair, says Rear Admiral Fred Midgette.
Officers found 1,521 pounds of water pipe tobacco off Walpole Island. Officials say the penalties levelled in can amounted to $1.6 million.
Two sterling heights men were arrested and charged.
“We need to be out there,” says RCMP Cpl. Jay Schooley. “Leveraging the authorities of both law enforcement agencies of the us and can to stop the bad guys from going back and forth across the border.”
Now that the ice has melted from the water, Shiprider is back out.
“We do random patrols, on a daily basis,” says Schooley.
On Thursday, Governor General of Canada David Johnston was in Detroit, learning about the Shiprider program.
“This program and the NITC are extremely positive developments for our two countries,” says Johnston.
Johnston wrapped up a trip of the US mid-west with the stop, endorsing the ongoing efforts by both countries to enhance security.
“Both Canadians and Americans are dedicated to border security,” says Johnston. “What could be a better image of this than RCMP, USCG and others working together on the same boat.”
The Shiprider program started as a pilot project in September of 2005. It was activated for special events like Super Bowl in Detroit and the Olympics in Vancouver, until 2013 when it became a permanent law enforcement tool in Windsor-Detroit and the west coast.
“We have uniquely figured out how to work seamlessly together, while completely respecting the sovereignty of the other side,” says Midgette.