El Paso government agencies reflect on changes since 9/11 attacks


POSTED: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 6:45pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 8:38pm

It has been almost 12 years since the nation came together and watched as almost 3,000 people died at the hands of terrorists. We're learning more about what local agencies have done and are continuing to do to protect our borders.

September 11, 2001 forever changed the landscape of government groups and how they operate, including right here in the borderland.

"Here in El Paso, we have seen a dynamic change,” Ramiro Cordero with the El Paso sector of the US Border Patrol told us. Before 9-11, information was fragmented and kept within the groups, Cordero said. Since that time, officials explained, the climate has changed and groups work closer together.

"More prevalent along the areas of law enforcement cooperation,” Cordero said.

"Sharing of the information, sharing of intelligence. That's really big,” Dennis Ulrich, Special Agent in Charge, with Homeland Security Investigations told us.

Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations, the latter, which formed as a result of the attacks said the 'spirit of cooperation' has helped them secure borders better and more efficiently.

"We see now after 911 there's a much more of an attitude of sharing and cooperation. And it's not only intelligence it's also your resources,” Ulrich said. And that has an added benefit. "It's a cost-saving measure to the government." Which is essential, because both Border Patrol and HSI, have had to do more with less. "All the agencies coming together, it's a force multiplier, so we don't have as many people as we had before because budgets are always being cut."

TSA, a group that has also formed as a result of 9-11, sent us a statement on the changes that have taken place in their office. Before 9-11 there was no cohesive system in place to check passengers before traveling and as we now know there are several measures and screening procedures before travelers can take flight.

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