OTAY MESA - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made a house call to the San Diego-Mexico border Wednesday and the came with cash.
Napolitano said that $20 million will go toward improving Otay Mesa's port of entry to combat drug traffickers. And she said local law enforcement will play a bigger role in curbing drug and gun smuggling as well
"These drug cartels, through their distribution fingers, go into all our states," said Napolitano.
The money is coming from the recent $400-million economic stimulus package pegged for improving border security.
"It's jobs, but it's technology and port improvements that we need along these ports in California," she said.
Some of that technology includes adding electronic license plate readers to catch known criminal vehicles, more surveillance cameras, and plans to start scanning trains that cross the border.
Manpower is also included. For example, the secretary said the government will triple the number of intelligence analysts and even plans to add more drug and cash sniffing dogs at the border.
To help curb the guns that flow from the United States into Mexico, the government said it will begin random checks of southbound vehicles. Federal officials said they hope the extra manpower and technology will cut the waiting time at the border.
"Being so close to it, I believe that they're winning that war with the cartels. That's why you're seeing it start to crumble, but they need the help and support of the United States government to make that continue," said San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne.
The chief said San Diego's local law enforcement will get $59 million in federal money to help pay for overtime and technology.