Livestock Scale Inspections with Law Enforcement Escorts
Law Enforcement Escorts for Inspectors Along Border
|NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE |
MSC 3189, P.O Box 30005 - Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-8005
Office of the Director/Secretary
Dr. I. Miley Gonzalez, Director/Secretary
|MEDIA ADVISORY||Fax: (575) 646-8120|
|For Immediate Release||Contact: Noreen Jaramillo (575) 646-7079|
|July 26, 2010|
(Las Cruces, NM) Inspectors with the Standards and Consumer Services Division (SCS) at New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) begin inspecting livestock scales along the U.S/Mexico border during the week of July 26, 2010, but this year is different than years past. NMDA announced earlier this year that because of safety concerns in the area south of I-10 from Las Cruces to the Arizona border, sheriff’s deputies from Luna and Hidalgo counties would accompany the inspectors.
“Everyone deserves to be safe when they head to work. For our inspectors, during this time of year, their work happens to be in remote areas along the Mexican border where, unfortunately, there are risks involved,” said NMDA Director/Secretary Miley Gonzalez. “Often they don’t have cell phone service, so we are being proactive and luckily this year federal funds are available to help with that.”
The Department of Homeland Security awarded the Operation Stonegarden funds directly to law enforcement agencies such as the Luna and Hidalgo County Sheriff’s departments to assist with border security issues. Sheriff officials determine how the money will be used, whether it’s deputy overtime pay or to purchase equipment to secure the border. Five border law enforcement agencies in New Mexico are sharing the $4 million grant. “Only a fraction of the funds will be used to pay overtime for the sheriff escorts during the four-day livestock scale inspection period, yet their presence will have a big impact,” said Noreen Jaramillo, NMDA public information officer.
NMDA’s inspectors will test approximately 1000 livestock scales throughout the state this year, twenty-five of them are in southern New Mexico. NMDA inspectors are required by law to test all commercial weighing and measuring devices at least once each year. “Livestock scale inspections are important to both ranchers and the buyers of their livestock,” added Secretary Gonzalez.
Total cash receipts from livestock products in New Mexico in 2008 were an estimated $2.4 billion, which was the second highest cash commodity in the state.
A reporter from KRQE TV in Albuquerque went along with NMDA inspectors and their escorts on the first day of inspections. For that report clink on the link provided.