In an effort to improve maritime law enforcement on shared waterways such as the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, Canadian and US security leaders signed an agreement in Detroit, May 26th, for a program called Shiprider.
Through the Shiprider program, signed by Public Safety Minister, Peter Van Loan and US Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and US Coast Guard personnel will work together in integrated teams, be able to ride aboard each other's vessels for joint patrols and operations, and share resources.
It is hoped that through the program, maritime law enforcement agencies will better be able to combat drug crime, smuggling, weapons trade and other illegal activities.
Addressing jurisdictional concerns raised by the program, according to Van Loan jointly staffed patrol ships will have a US officer in command on the American side of the border and a Canadian officer in charge on the Canadian side.
In the past, both marine law enforcement agencies could not cross the border into the other's jurisdiction.