U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) today praised the passage of her measure to authorize the Shiprider Program, a program that allows the deployment of integrated teams of U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) personnel in shared U.S. - Canadian waterways. This measure was included within H.Res. 825, the U.S. Coast Guard Reauthorization bill which passed the House of Representative unanimously by voice vote today. Miller said:
"The Shiprider Program is an invaluable tool aimed at enhancing maritime security. This program allows for the coordination of officers from the U.S. and Canada by allowing joint patrols in the waterways we share within the Great Lakes. What began as a successful pilot in the Detroit area in 2006 has evolved into a program that increases our security and makes border enforcement seamless -- preventing smugglers and others from exploiting the maritime boundaries between our two nations.
"The Shiprider program brings a collaborative approach to our border security by strengthening both the U.S. and Canada's security measures, as well as improving the way individuals legally cross the international waterways. This is the way we have been jointly working with our Canadian neighbors for years in our Great Lakes region, and the concerted working relationship between personnel should stand as an operational model for the program. My measure will provide for the authorization of this valuable program to allow the U.S. Coast Guard to continue operating jointly with our trusted allies."
Section 711 (Shiprider Authorization) of H.Res. 825:
This section authorizes the Shiprider Program. This program allows the USCG and RCMP personnel to ride on the other agency's boats and would allow the RCMP officers, on a USCG vessel, to exercise their jurisdiction in U.S. waters, and the same for the USCG officers on RCMP boats in Canadian waters. This program has been extensively tested over the past five years with numerous successes and this provision merely codifies existing CG policy by making the program permanent.
* Shiprider, officially known as Integrated Cross-border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations (ICMLEO) is a novel approach to combating cross border crime between U.S and Canadian waterways
* Shiprider removes the international maritime boundary as a barrier to law enforcement by enabling seamless enforcement and security operations across the border, by facilitating cross-border surveillance and interdiction.
* This enforcement initiative is governed by the 2009 Canada-U.S. Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations.