Washington, DC - A scolding internal report performed by the CBP Integrity Advisory Panel, a subcommittee of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, concludes that the nation's largest law enforcement agency, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), needs to improve its use-of-force policies and training and it may be vulnerable to corruption due to the lack of adequate oversight personnel.
The Integrity Advisory Panel members includes co-chairs William "Bill" Bratton (Police Commissioner for the City of New York), Karen P. Tandy (Retired DEA Administrator), Colonel Rick Fuentes (14th Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police), John Magaw (Domestic and International Security issues consultant), Chief Roberto Villaseñor (Tucson Police Department), and other legal and law enforcement experts.
The chastising report also makes the following critical recommendations:
- The use-of-force policy should be revised to prioritize the preservation of human life, as well as implementing restrictions on the use of firearms in cases involving moving vehicles and "rocking" incidents;
- CBP should substantially increase the number of Office of Internal Affairs criminal investigators to deal with allegations of criminal misconduct and investigations in use-of-force incidents;
- CBP should improve transparency by streamlining how it presents information to public stakeholders, including making its policies accessible for public inspection
In response, representatives from the Southern Border Communities Coalition released these statements.
Christian Ramirez, Director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition and Human Rights Director at Alliance San Diego:
The Homeland Security Advisory Council offers a hard-hitting insider look at serious deficiencies at Customs and Border Protection. Law enforcement experts and human rights groups agree that CBP must adopt urgent and meaningful accountability and oversight measures. The ball now solely lies in the court of the Obama Administration to rein in Customs and Border Protection and direct the nation's largest law-enforcement agency in the country to implement 21st Century policing standards.
Vicki Gaubeca, Co-chair of the Southern Border Communities Coalition and Director of the Regional Center for Border Rights at the ACLU of New Mexico:
Yet again, this review by outside experts of use-of-force policy and accountability mechanisms shows CBP falls dramatically short of law enforcement best practices. We look forward to the full report that, if implemented by CBP, promises to bring sorely needed transparency and respect for human life to our nation's largest police force.