By Steve Neavling
The Interior Department is dispatching officers to help secure the border with Mexico.
Officers from the U.S. Park Police Planning Unit (USPP) and the National Park Service will help Homeland Security along the southwest border beginning May 13 as part of “Secretary [Ryan] Zinke’s offer of assistance to the Department of Homeland Security,” according to an internal email obtained by The Hill.
The assignment is a dramatic departure from what USPP officers are traditionally tasked with doing – policing NPS property in Washington D.C., New York and San Francisco.
According to the email, officers will spend about three weeks stationed at two national parks and monument sites along the border – Amsted National Recreation Area in Texas and the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona.
Dispatching officers from the federal agencies is “the first of many steps Interior will take to secure the homeland.”
“President Trump and I are 100 percent committed to keeping our border communities and the American people safe and secure, which is why I’m deploying some of Interior’s law enforcement officers to increase security on the southern border,” Zinke told the Hill in a statement. “Interior is ready, willing, and able to deploy a significant force to carry out the President’s mission.”