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First Manitoba Location for Cross-Border Security Partnership

Altona, Manitoba – April 20, 2012 – Border security officials from both sides of the Canadian-American border today marked the grand opening of the Red River Integrated Border Enforcement Team’s new joint intelligence office located in Altona, Manitoba.

Several Canadian and American core partner agencies will now be co-located in the newly renovated building, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations, and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations.

“Canada and the United States have a long history of cooperation in ensuring the safety and security of our shared border,” said Canada’s Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews. “The IBET program has proven to be an effective tool in the fight against transnational crime at the shared border.”

Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs) enhance border integrity and security along the shared Canada/U.S. border through identification, investigation and interdiction of persons, organizations and goods that threaten the national security of our countries or that are involved in organized criminal activity.

“The protection and safety of Canadian citizens is paramount for the RCMP and the Canadian government. Preserving the security of Canadians does not start or end at Canada’s borders. IBETs are a critical component of maintaining the integrity and security of our borders by assisting with national security investigations and combating organized crime and other criminal activity between the ports of entry,” said Assistant Commissioner Bill Robinson, Commanding Officer of RCMP “D” Division. “Collaboration with our partners within Canada and abroad is an essential part of ensuring the success of the IBET program.” 

IBETs identify, investigate and interdict persons and criminal organizations that pose a threat to citizens in both countries. Teams share a common objective - to stop criminals from using the border as a conduit for illegal activities.

“The joint intelligence office will improve on already highly effective multi-agency efforts,” said Austin Skero, Grand Forks Sector Chief Patrol Agent. “It will aid Custom and Border Protection’s continuing effort to enhance border security while further developing our already strong relationship with our Canadian partner agencies.”

“International partnerships with our sister law enforcement agencies along the Northern Border are essential to enhance situational awareness, conduct joint investigations and operations along the border,” said Special Agent in Charge Mike Feinberg of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)in Minnesota and North Dakota. “As a Core Member of the IBET program since its inception, HSI remains committed to supporting the IBET mission through its investigative offices located along the Northern Border.”

IBETs have been established in strategic regions to ensure more effective border enforcement capability between ports of entry, based on intelligence-led policing.

“As partners in IBET, the CBSA shares responsibility for the collection of critical information and assists in investigations relating to border security or organized crime and human smuggling. Collaboration with our enforcement partners is critical to the success of our shared objective of national security,” said Lauren D. Delgaty, Regional Director General, Prairie Region of Canada Border Services Agency.

Anyone with information regarding criminal activity is encouraged to contact the RCMP or their local police. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can also call Manitoba Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS) or SUBMIT a secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com or TEXT: TIPMAN plus your message to CRIMES (274637).