U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has secured research funding to help increase the efficiency and security of the nation’s border crossings.
The action, which provides $125,000 for the Texas Transportation Institute, will be designed to help improve the legitimate flow of goods and people across borders, while interdicting contraband and persons intending harm to the United States. This funding was included in the Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2003.
“We appreciate the Senator’s efforts to secure this funding, said Dr. Herb Richardson, Director of TTI. The Senator has long been an advocate of university research and we appreciate the opportunity to apply the expertise and knowledge of the Institute to help solve these problems.”
Richardson pointed out that the economies of the United States, Mexico and Canada are far too mutually dependent to ignore the importance of facilitating international trade. Likewise, recent terrorist events compel all nations to enhance border security. The competing goals of speed and security must be reconciled, but there will never be enough resources available to apply a 100 percent inspection approach to assuring security, Richardson says.
Research conducted at TTI will be aimed at allowing federal inspection agencies to target threat agents (people or substances), allowing well-known, trustworthy people and goods to pass quickly through the border. “Security and trade are both enhanced if we can improve the accuracy of detection, Richardson said. The principal goal of this initiative is to apply technology to improving accuracy while reducing cost.”