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Tag: CBP

Is Border Patrol’s Drone Program Really Worth the Money?

Manned aircraft was found to be far more effective and less costly.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Is the Border Patrol’s use of drone worth the money?

It’s a question raised and explored by a lengthy story in the Arizona Republic. 

The newspaper found that drones helped nab less than 3% of the drugs seized by agent over the past two fiscal years.

By comparison, look at the success rate of manned aircrafts: More than 99% of weapons, cash and meth seizures were by manned aircraft.

But to CBP, the drug seizures “are not an appropriate performance measure,” spokesman Carlos Lazo said, adding that the drones “detect illegal cross-border activity … on a daily basis.”

The drone program cost taxpayers $600 million, a figure that is on the rise.

The newspaper cites Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General to back up its assertion that the drones are too expensive.

The Arizona Republic concluded that “manned aircraft or other, less expensive drones could provide broader coverage than the Predator Bs have delivered, at a significantly lower cost.”

Las Cruces Sun-News: Border Patrol Should Not Police Itself After So Many Fatal Shootings

By Editorial Board
Las Cruces Sun-News

Two years ago, a scathing independent report by law enforcement experts found that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency had failed to fully investigate all 67 uses of deadly force, including 19 killings, by its agents from January 2010 through October 2012, most occurring along the southwest border with Mexico.

That report, which accused the agency of a “lack of diligence” in its investigations, put federal officials on the defensive and sparked an internal review. But when the review was finally completed last month, it absolved virtually all the agents in virtually all the shootings. Oral reprimands were apparently issued to two agents, and one case remains open; other than that, no discipline was meted out.

Is that reasonable? An agent who killed an unarmed 15-year-old Mexican boy by shooting him in the face after a rock-throwing incident near El Paso, Texas, was cleared. So was an agent who killed a rock-throwing 17-year-old near Nogales, Ariz.

It’s hard to know whether the agency’s decisions were reasonable. Were it not for leaks to journalists, little of this would even be known, because the Customs and Border Protection agency has tried to keep the report’s findings and the subsequent reviews under wraps. The initial report was released only after the Los Angeles Times reported on its existence. And the internal reviews ended a month ago, yet that fact just came to light — and there are still few details available. That opacity is unacceptable in an open society. How can the public assess government actions if the details are hidden? How are Americans to determine whether justice is served when there is no public accounting?

The Border Patrol is in essence a federal police force, and its use of deadly force should be viewed through a similar prism. Border agents, like local police officers, often find themselves in dangerous situations, and occasionally must use lethal force to protect themselves and the public. But that doesn’t mean society owes them limitless deference or that their actions should be considered beyond question.

To read more click here. 

FBI Investigates Death of Man Shot Multiple Times with Taser at Border Crossing

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether CBP agents went too far when they shot a man multiple times with a Taser at a San Ysidro border crossing, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. 

Francisco Cesena died after of cardiac arrest caused in part by multiple Taser shots after authorities said he attacked them. According to the federal government, Cesena was wanted on a warrant and attacked agents when they tried to arrest him.

An autopsy revealed seven pairs of puncture marks from a Taser. CBP’s use of force policy bars agents from delivering more than three “cycles” from an electronic weapon.

CBP declined to comment.

 

 

Border Patrol Makes Rare Move by Firing Warning Shots from Blackhawk Helicopter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

In a rare show of force, Border Patrol agents fired warning shots from a Blackhawk helicopter to stop a panga boat that authorities suspected was smuggling drugs off the San Diego coast, the Associated Press reports.

The boat was spotted by the Coast Guard, and men were spotted throwing what authorities believe were bales of marijuana overboard.

Two Border Patrol boats also became involved in the pursuit.

Agents fired several warning shots after the boat refused to stop.

The warning shots worked: The three men on the boat surrendered and stopped the boat.

Border Patrol said it has never used such a tactic on the West Coast.

Want to Be a Border Patrol Agent? Job openings in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Ever consider scouring the border for terrorists and drug dealers?

CBP is hiring for Border Patrol agent positions in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

Applicants will undergo a rigorous screening process and must meet physical demands of the job, KVIA reports.

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position
  • Referred for selection prior to your 37th birthday (waiver for Veterans)
  • You must have resided in U.S. for the last 3 years
  • You must successfully pass a polygraph examination
  • You must successfully pass a background investigation
  • Convictions of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence are disqualifying
  • You will be required to carry a firearm and have a valid driver’s license
  • You will be required to work regular and recurring shift work
  • Entrance examination scores prior to December 1, 2014 are NOT valid
  • You must meet job-related medical, fitness and drug-testing standards

You may apply for a job at https://www.usajobs.gov/. The deadline is Jan. 22.

Border Patrol Agents Are Getting Attacked Fewer Times Than Previous Years

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Assaults against Border Patrol agents dropped for the sixth year in a row in fiscal 2014, the Arizona Republic reports.

The agency recorded 373 assaults against agents, a 20% decline over 2013. Of those, 366 occurred along the Southwest border.

That represents a two-thirds drop since fiscal 2008.

Although CPB has broken down the types of assaults in the past, it hadn’t by the Republic’s deadline.

Despite the drop in attacks, agents still feel more vulnerable to attack.

“Agents out there are saying that the people we arrest are less likely to listen to verbal commands,” said Art Del Cueto, president of the Tucson local of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing agents. “They tend to want to run more, to push back against the agent, to be verbally aggressive.”

Border Patrol’s Recruitment of Women Gets 5,500 Female Applicants for Jobs

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A recruitment effort to hire more women into Border Patrol is paying off as CBP announced recently that it received applications from 5,500 female applicants, Federal News Radio 1500 AM.

The agency’s ranks of 21,000 agents only include about 5% women.

CBP wants more female agents, partly because more women are crossing the border.

“As a police chief for a long time, I know that women in law enforcement bring a huge amount of positive to any law enforcement agency, and increasing those numbers for the border patrol will do exactly the same thing,” CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske said.

“The real goal, of course, is that we needed to increase the numbers at all the levels, all the ranks, and throughout the border patrol of women, because of all of the skills that they bring to the job,” he said.

Wanted Felon Dies After Being Shot with Stun Gun by Border Patrol Agents

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A 40-year-old man is dead after he was shot by a border inspector with a stun gun at the busy border crossing of San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, the Associated Press reports.

Police said the incident happened after a man leaped over a counter and attacked an inspector while being escorted for questioning at the San Ysidro port of entry.

The man, who was a wanted felon, was trying to enter the U.S. on foot.

Four CPB officers also were injured and treated at a local hospital.

Authorities said they weren’t able to resuscitate the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

His identity has not yet been released.