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Alaska ferry service may have to pay armed Canadian police

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Alaska will pay armed Canadian police to provide protection to U.S. personnel at a ferry terminal in British Columbia.

CoastAlaska reported Friday that the Alaska Marine Highway System was notified in March that unarmed U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents checking ferries leaving Prince Rupert, British Columbia, will require the assistance of Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The Canadian officers will be contracted through the ferry service, which is facing budget cuts by Alaska’s Legislature.

Officials say U.S. personnel cannot carry firearms while doing passport and contraband checks in Prince Rupert, 117 miles (188 kilometers) south of Ketchikan.

Officials say details of the plan have not been finalized and an agreement allowing U.S. agents to carry firearms at the Prince Rupert port is several years away.

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