In a statement, the SBSC said it has voted to partner with BI2 Technologies to expand its I.R.I.S. biometric identification program and system. BI2 Technologies has provided initial funding to immediately expand the Sheriffs' capabilities while seeking additional federal funds.The SBSC is an IRS certified 501 (c) (3) charitable organization whose mission is to insure the safety and security of the Southwestern Border of the United States by assisting elected Sheriffs.Lawrence “Larry” Guerra, Executive Director of the SBSC, said, “The 31 Sheriffs who comprise the SBSC are literally the front-line of defense against criminal activity along the southwest U.S. border with Mexico.”Joe Frank Martinez, Sheriff of Val Verde County, Texas – and Chairman of the Southwestern Border Sheriffs' Coalition (SBSC) – said, “Every day, the Sheriffs and their professional staffs confront drug smuggling, human trafficking, stolen vehicles and firearms, crimes against persons, crimes against property and violent crimes such as murder and sexual assaults in their counties. Often, they are fighting sophisticated, well-organized and well-financed transnational criminal organizations. We welcome and need the federal administration's support in the fight to improve border security and fight criminal activity. We need these cost-effective and proven technologies to combat criminal activities along our southwestern border.”Sheriff Martinez continued, “While a border wall or fence is a viable solution in some locations, it is only part of the solution. Our courageous, committed and well-trained men and woman must be armed with the right technologies to effectively communicate, cooperate and collaborate with all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to secure our borders and our future. Simply put, the Sheriffs need the best, proven technologies to accurately and rapidly identify those who would cause our citizens harm. That's why we are pleased to be moving forward immediately.”The Southwest Border Sheriff's Coalition includes border Sheriffs from the States of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. There are 1,989 miles of border between the United States and the Republic of Mexico. 31 counties lie within the 1,989 miles of border from San Diego, California to Brownsville, Texas. While the terrain throughout many of these counties the Sheriffs have sworn to protect is different, from rural ranch and farmlands, high desert to desert like valleys and mountain ranges – they all share one common commitment – making sure that every citizen can feel safe and secure in their homes and communities.Sean G. Mullin, president of BI2 Technologies said, “The SBSC will implement our advanced iris biometric identification technologies at Sheriff's Offices, as well as in-the-field mobile, Smartphone-based, multi-modal (iris, fingerprint and facial biometric identification) devices. These technologies will provide each Sheriff with immediate access to national, state and local criminal justice and law enforcement databases. This will enable Sheriff's staff to positively identify previously enrolled individuals in seconds, regardless of the often fraudulent identity presented.”