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Our Opinion: Communication works among cops

September 10, 2001

Earlier this year officials with the Calexico and Mexicali police departments reached an agreement that called for improving communication between the departments. The goal was that through improved communication, criminals could no longer so easily cross the border and escape authorities.

That agreement was put to a test Wednesday when seven men, including six accused murders, escaped from a jail in Mexicali. According to Calexico police Sgt. Jim Neujahr, Calexico police were informed of the prison break as soon as Mexicali police agencies.

That communication allowed Calexico police to mobilize quickly in case the escapees attempted to cross the border. The spirit of cooperation between the agencies was also seen Thursday when Mexican state police joined Calexico police officers and the county Sheriff's Office to search two homes in Calexico where the escapees were thought to be hiding.

While the escapees were not found in the homes, it is that kind of joint effort that is to be hailed and can improve the quality of law enforcement on both sides of the border.

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We hope to continue to see such cooperation. It sends a clear message to criminals on both sides of the border that law enforcement authorities are prepared to do everything possible to bring them to justice, even if bad guys cross the border.

We are seeing other types of cooperation, such as joint training including the effort to train U.S. Border Patrol agents and their counterparts in Mexico together in border rescue efforts.

Building a strong relationship between law enforcement on both sides of the border will in a sense erase the border for officers.

Law enforcement duties in this area are unique in the amount of federal crimes, such as drug and immigrant smuggling, that occur. They are crimes that affect both sides of the border, so we must work together.

The push is on to that end and it should be a deterrent. It is just a matter of time before criminals get the message.

It's good to know that those in law enforcement on both sides of the border are more and more working with each other rather than against each other.

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