Tag Archives: borders

First step in tracking excessive force at Customs & Border Patrol? Need the right data to count

By SB Anderson

The Department of Homeland Security Inspector General has concluded its examination of use of excessive force within the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and its first recommendation: Customs and Border Patrol needs to start specifically tracking the number of excessive force allegations and cases because the inspector general’s staff wasn’t able to count them accurately with the data currently being kept.

“Allegations of employee misconduct that are entered into Department of Homeland Security (DHS) case management systems are assigned one of several case allegation types; however, there is no primary use of force designation. As a result, we were unable to identify the total number of excessive force allegations and investigations involving CBP employees,” the just-released report said.

The inspector general began investigating incidents of excessive force in 2012 after media reports about an undocumented immigrant dying in 2010 while in Customs and Border Patrol custody in Southern California. Congressional calls for an investigation followed the stories.

Some 21,000 records of possible excessive force incidents were turned over to investigators, who narrowed their review down to just over 2,000 records that seemed most likely to indicate excessive force from 2007 to 2012. It found 1,323 that might include excessive force or use of force. (See below)

Inspector General use of force investigation
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Inspector’s report raps customs and border patrol for unmanned aircraft program

By SB Anderson

An inspector general’s report has determined the $240 million unmanned aircraft program run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection has “not adequately planned resources needed to support its current unmanned aircraft inventory. “

The report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general found:

  • Inadequate ground resources in place to support the craft.
  • The seven craft have only flown 37% of the projected number of hours — and despite this, two new $18 million aircraft were ordered.
  • A multi-million-dollar maintenance funding shortfall that could lead to curtailed missions.
  • There is no formal process in place for other agency “stakeholders,” such as the FBI and Department of Defense, to request missions on their behalf and does not have agreements on being reimbursed for the costs of those missions. 
The report recommends that an operating plan be developed to cover maintenance, operations and equipment; aircraft purchases should stop until that happens; a system be developed for stakeholders request and coordinations, along with a reimbursement system. 
The agency has nine unmanned craft based across the country. The program “provides command, control, communication, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability to complement crewed aircraft and watercraft, and ground interdiction agents,” according to the report.

One of the unmanned aircraft used by the border patrol. SOURCE: Inspector general’s report.


US northern border checks scaled back