JAY-- While they work in different countries, the Vermont State Police and their Canadian counterpart in Quebec can be only a few miles apart, separated by international boundary lines but still affected by the same outbreak of crime or natural disaster.
Dozens with the state police and the Surete du Quebec brought their equipment and their expertise to a two-day conference Wednesday at the Jay Peak Resort. The meeting was the third such conference, each designed to improve coordination between the two agencies and reduce impediments created by the border.
"One of the things that we are all very much aware of is that crime knows no borders, natural disasters know no borders, and terrorism many times is focused at borders," Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said at a news conference.
Flynn was joined by Surete du Quebec Lt. Daniel Campagna, who works with a border enforcement team that links state and provincial and federal agencies on both sides.
"We want to put in place everything so that on the day that something big happens we will be prepared," Campagna said.
The two sides acknowledged differences between Vermont and Quebec, among the most obvious -- the language. The state police don’t have many French-speaking troopers and not all Quebec officers speak English.
Other differences involve the tools of their trade. When Vermont officers travel to Canada, they have to leave their weapons at home, while Quebec officers are free to bring their weapons into the United States.
But Surete du Quebec spokesman Daniel Thibaudeau said police work is about more than just weapons.
"Investigative techniques and know-how and a pen is often 98 percent of the work," Thibaudeau said. "Today a lot of crimes are dealing with information. And this is addressing the issue of sharing information among law enforcement agencies to better adequately combat crime that knows no borders."