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Border Security Committee to award remaining money from public donations this morning

The Legislative Joint Border Security Advisory Committee will meet this morning to award more than $55,000 in the ongoing effort to improve border security between Arizona and Mexico. This money is from the Border Security Trust Fund, established in a 2011 bill sponsored by Senator Steve Smith.

SB 1406 established a website for the purpose of raising private money to improve security along the Arizona-Mexico border. All the funds raised are held in a trust fund account in the Arizona State Treasurer’s Office. The Joint Border Security Advisory Committee oversees the project and determines disbursement of monies. On the first day of existence, 1,265 individual donors from all fifty states donated to the fund.

In 2015, the Cochise County Sheriff's Office was the first recipient of funds. Sheriff Mark Dannels requested money from the fund to purchase equipment to combat human and drug smuggling and all illegal border activity, as a result of the unsecured border. His plan included the purchase of Global Positioning Systems, binoculars, handheld thermal imaging cameras and a thermal binocular, all synced with the sheriff's office and its elite Border Security Task Force. Sheriff Dannels will return to the committee this morning to update members on the use of the border security funds.

The Joint Border Security Advisory Committee meets at 10 a.m. today in Senate Hearing Room 109.

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