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new hovercraft technology to aide in migrant searches

According to Kleiburg County Sheriff Richard Kirkpatrick, the new hovercraft technology is capable of monitoring that can enter and exit the narrow Los Olmos Creek.

KLIBERG COUNTY, Texas – The Kleiburg County Sheriff’s Office is looking toward a new type of technology to stop the illegal crossing of the Texas-Mexico border.

According to Kleiburg County Sheriff Richard Kirkpatrick, the new hovercraft technology is capable of aerial surveillance that can enter and exit the narrow Los Olmos Creek.

Kirkpatrick adds that the creek is where about 20,000 migrants cross each year, leaving behind water bottles and other debris including clothing. When the migrants cross the creek, he said, they end up taking off their clothes because the water is so salty that it burns their skin.

Then the department is called to rescue them and in other cases they find bodies along the creek, but getting there is the problem. Because of the thick brush area and the fact that the creek is shallow in a number of locations only hovercraft can cross.

“We have applied for a grant to purchase an amphibious vehicle such as a hover vehicle or a similar solution in an effort to drive those areas because we simply cannot access them,” Kirkpatrick said.

Sheriff said the scholarship is through the state’s Lonestar program. He’s asking about $700,000 to buy a hovercraft along with telecommunications equipment to help deal with the immigrant situation in his county.

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