Re: Watching them watch us

Message posted by JB737 on October 15, 2007 at 19:04:22 PST:

Points well made, and certainly they should think about your ideas if they haven't already.

On the downside, I think that visitation to border in general would go up quite a lot if NO camos were there, so I fully expect a continued camo presence, size TBD. Guys with guns are simply more intimidating and danerous to approach than a camera tower.

If the threat of the "camo dude with flashlight in your eyes while you are in your sleeping bag" trick is no longer there, then the border will become a much safer-seeming and hence more popular camping spot overnight too. The reasoning behind some current camping spots, is that they avoid camo dude hassles, traffic and so forth. A dudeless border fits that description very well.

A human-defended border is simply more dangerous to legally approach or accidentally cross, than a camera-defended border, until proven otherwise (e.g., if it takes out some tourists with a missile instead of just sending out guys to follow or arrest them).

Maybe comms to the guard shack are good enough that they can replace flown-in contractor guards with desk-work on-base military folks doing their normal jobs there, ready to respond when the camera sees something. It doesn't matter if their laptop is hooked up in the guard shack, or on the base, or in Colorado Springs or other bases: the same work can get done.

Rotating people out to the shack to so some 4-wheeling in the sun and dry heat, might be a welcome break from routine. On the other hand, it's somewhat specialized duty, so it may not be worth training and clearing folks from other bases to rotate into it, and I'm not sure of the number of qualified folks already doing other things on the base that could be done remotely.

Last but not least, if they all have to be deputized by the county, rotating personnel would be a hassle and maybe generate unwanted public records of more people. Who cares if you find out the identity of civilian guards who don't know much about what they are guarding anyway? But they would care a lot if you could find public records of the identity of a lot of rotating guards who also happen to be part of the military operation in other capacities. So that argues in favor of keeping the same people, or having fewer/no people.

Bottom line, there are a lot of good possibilities, but I think that the current setup has some real advantages for them. They might trade some manpower away for cost reduction and automation as you suggest; or they might just be adding additional capabilities at additional cost; or doing a little of both by modernizing the operation in a revenue-neutral or other budget-fitting way.


In Reply to: Re: Watching them watch us posted by Andre' M. Dall'au on October 13, 2007 at 7:04:17 PST:


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