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Mar 1, 2013 6:18 PM by Lorraine Rivera

UA showcases border technologies

The University of Arizona Tech Park hosted a border technologies showcase Friday.

A number of Southern Arizona companies were on hand to demonstrate their latest innovations including Strong Watch. The Tucson based company specializes in thermal and color cameras with a laser range finder. The camera is on top of a 16-foot mast and operates out of the bed of a pickup truck, "so this can be used while moving so it gives great benefit to interdiction and detection teams to allow them to do their jobs more efficiently and safely," explained Drew Dodds, the principal field engineer.

He said the camera allows law enforcement agencies to safely perform their jobs, "even if agents are aware of the threat they might be slightly apprehensive to go in and do something about it just because they have a lack of situational awareness they truly don't know what's going on around them."

DRS technologies also introduced it's agent portable surveillance system. Richard Danforth, the president of DRS Integrated Defense Systems and Services said the company's products have been used in the U.S. and in the Middle East, "there's the element of drug trade, weapons coming across the border. The technology the agents whether here or in the U.S. or elsewhere better define and discern who the bad guy is."

Bruce Wright, the associate vice president for University Research Parks at the UA, said more jobs could be created as a result of the showcase. He said the goal is to bring the companies together to showcase their technologies in an effort to help secure the border while increasing free trade with Mexico, "but ultimately that technology will go into production and manufacturing and there will be companies located throughout the region employing people throughout the region."

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