WASHINGTON D.C.óToday, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) offered an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act to strengthen communication abilities between border state residents and law enforcement. The Poe amendment passed the House unanimously with bipartisan support. Congressman Poe worked with Congressman Altmire and the office of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to pass similar amendments to the Department of Homeland Security bill in the 111th and 112th Congresses.
ìThe failure of the federal government to secure the Southern Border has left border state residents vulnerable to spillover crime from Mexico,î said Poe. ìMany border areas are rural and lack wireless communications capabilities, exacerbating safety concerns. If the federal government is not willing or able to secure the border, at the very least, it must equip our citizens and law enforcement with the capability to call for help. What happened to Rob Krentz should never happen again.î
The Poe amendment reallocates $10 million from the Office of the Under Secretary for Management of DHS, to the Border Security, Fencing, Infrastructure and Technology account with the purpose of being used for border wireless communications infrastructure. This funding will help border residents more quickly communicate with Border Patrol agents and law enforcement.
On March 27, 2010, Arizona rancher Rob Krentz was murdered 20 miles north of the border in an isolated area. The lack of communications capability made Krentz more vulnerable than he would have been otherwise and complicated the search for the assailant.