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Entries in Southern Borderlands Public Safety Communications Act (1)

Thursday
Mar312011

Rep. Giffords' Idea: Improve Mobile Communications Near Border

Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- At the request of the office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Texas Congressman Ted Poe introduced the “Southern Borderlands Public Safety Communications Act” Thursday, which would provide people in remote areas without cellular service near the border with cell phone service to call for help in the event of an emergency.

Giffords, D-Ariz., was apparently poised to introduce the legislation herself, but then the tragedy in Tucson struck just a few days after the 112th Congress commenced.

According to Poe, the measure would authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to make grants available for public-private partnerships that finance equipment and infrastructure to improve public safety of residents of rural areas of the United States-Mexico border by enhancing access to mobile communications.

Poe went to the House floor Thursday to highlight the need for the legislation and credited Giffords for coming up with the idea after one of her constituents, rancher Rob Krentz, was murdered by Mexican drug smugglers on his rural property where he was unable to call 911 because he was out of reach of cellphone service.

“In this remote area many times cellphones do not work,” Poe, R-Texas, said. “I am filing legislation that is the idea of Ms. Giffords. This bill is in memory of Robert Krentz, the Arizona rancher who was murdered by an illegal on his own property one year ago. Mr. Krentz is a former rancher whose family still lives in Arizona. News reports indicate Mr. Krentz was in a cellphone 'dead zone' when he was murdered, and this bill will provide people in remote areas on the dangerous border area with cellphone service to call for help.”

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