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WASHINGTON -- The Homeland Security Department has awarded a $145 million contract for a series of border security towers to be built along the Mexican border in Arizona.

Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel says the contact was given to EFW Inc., a government contractor from Fort Worth, Texas.

Friel says the integrated fixed towers will detect, track, identify and classify suspicious activity along the Arizona border.

The towers will start going up on the border later this year. No other details about the program were released.

Homeland Security has been searching for several years for a combination of technology and manpower to secure the 2,000-mile long border with Mexico. Previously a so-called virtual fence was scrapped after the technology didn't work the way the government anticipated.

Associated Press,

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