PHOENIX - The 6th Annual Border Security Expo is back in Phoenix for two days. The event will feature roughly 140 exhibitors from 15 countries and sessions focusing on key issues, such as human smuggling and border crime in cyberspace.
One thousand attendees are expected at the event, including members of state and federal law enforcement agencies. Conferences will be held to talk about pressing topics with companies offering the latest solutions, according to the Expo website.
Although these sessions are closed to the public, the exhibition hall will be open to certain people. This includes members of law enforcement, businesses, military members and academians.
Most of the technology in the exhibition hall is geared towards surveillance, said Mike Rosenberg, event organizer.
Neany, an engineering firm based out of Maryland, featured its unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones. The UAVs are used now in Afghanistan but the company is hoping to produce UAVs for border protection at a lower cost. Each one is estimated to cost $1 million, according to a representative at the booth. Neany showcased its flagship UAV, the Arrow, and, its newest technology, an unmanned surface vehicle. It's essentially a remote-control surveillance watercraft.
Around the exhibit hall, there were surveillance towers, portable radar equipment, and 3D imaging cameras.
While the expo focuses on border security, an issue key in Arizona, some warn you likely won't hear much about border issues as the November election nears.
"It continues to be an important issue here in Arizona, but you'll hear less and less of it at the national level," said Brian Dille with Mesa Community College.
Dille said the economy is taking over much of the political conversation. In addition, he said border security and illegal immigration are not huge priorities among national voters.
"The candidates themselves are probably not going to bring it up," Dille said.
More than $50 billion have been allocated by federal and state government for homeland and border security.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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