On the Border: MPD officers receiving special training

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Two Minden Police Officers are in Arizona this week, learning everything they can to protect Minden against persons crossing the border who don’t have the public’s best interest at heart.

“We have two patrol officers – a lieutenant and a sergeant – on the border in Cochise County working with the sheriff,” said Minden Police Chief Jared McIver. “We chose that area of Arizona because everything that’s happening in our country right now, starts right there at that border – from trafficking, weapons, drugs, everything.”

McIver said he felt it would be beneficial for two of his officers to train with Sheriff Mark Dannels and learn how to handle the traffic coming from the border and traveling Interstate 20 through Minden.

“Everything goes straight from over there all the way to the east coast,” the chief said. “We’re right here in that major corridor, and there may be signs of things we have never caught. Now, when we stop someone, there may be things we see, smell, containers, or something they say that will alert our officers to what they may be carrying.

“I figured we would try to jump out ahead of any issues that come through here and maybe catch things, prevent things, be able to react to things that might come here from people who are crossing the border illegally,” he continued.

McIver said the officers are working with the Cochise Country Sheriff’s Department, SABRE, (Southeast Arizona Border Region Enforcement Team) and Border Patrol.

“They are working along the walls, in the mountains, working interdiction with vehicles, human smuggling and trafficking, drug trafficking, weapons, all that,” he said. “Everything that they couldn’t get anywhere else, they will get there.”

The officers will be back Friday, and McIver said he looks forward to the debriefing time and the information these two will be able to share with the rest of his department.

McIver said he had been seeking a way for his officers to receive more training. He contacted Congressman Mike Johnson’s office and they connected him with Sheriff Mark Dannels, who was willing to help.

“Now we have a contact there, and it’s a pipeline of communication for the future,” he said. “Sheriff Dannels said this is some of the best training our officers can get and, after speaking with him, I felt a lot better about sending them.”

Cost of the trip is for hotels, food and fuel and comes from MPD’s budget. There is no charge for the training time they spent with Cochise County law enforcement.

“This intelligence will take us to another level that we would never have been able to achieve anywhere else,” McIver said. “I am fortunate we are able to send these guys out there. Whoever gets across that border is going to come down I-20 or I-10 to go all the way to the coast.They could stop here in our city at any time. We intend to be ready.”