DHS scraps virtual fence

On Feb. 22, Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff officially accepted Project 28, Boeing's prototype virtual fence for the Mexico-Arizona border.

project 28On Feb. 22, Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff officially accepted Project 28, Boeing's prototype virtual fence for the Mexico-Arizona border. Less than a week later, Congress' Government Accountability Office said it "did not fully meet user needs and the project's design will not be used as the basis for future" developments. Now, reports AP DHS is scrapping Project 28, which will be replaced with a series of communications towers, cameras and radar.

A glaring shortcoming of the project was the time lag between the electronic detection of movement along the border and the transmission of a camera image to agents patrolling the area, the GAO reported. Although the fence continues to operate, it hasn't come close to meeting the Border Patrol's goals, said Kelly Good, deputy director of the Secure Border Initiative program office in Washington. "Probably not to the level that Border Patrol agents on the ground thought that they were going to get. So it didn't meet their expectations." The Border Patrol had little input in designing the prototype but will have more say in the final version, officials said.