BROWNSVILLE, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at the Gateway International Bridge kennels facility. CBP officials from the Laredo Field Office and Washington, DC as well as Congressman Filemon Vela were present for the ribbon cutting ceremony which marks the latest renovation to the Gateway Bridge kennels since the 1980s.
“This renovation was a multi-agency effort and we are happy that this project is completed and are glad to have our canines back at our facilities,” said Acting Port Director Jose Aguilar, Brownsville Port of Entry, “We are grateful for the support from our CBP leadership at the Laredo Field Office and our leadership at CBP Headquarters who championed our efforts to get funding approved and have this project come to fruition.”
The event began at 9:30 a.m. at the Gateway International Bridge kennels facility. Acting Port Director Jose Aguilar thanked everyone involved in making the completion of this renovation possible. The initial estimate of the renovation was approximately $150,000 but as the renovation project advanced, more things were discovered that needed to be addressed and corrected. The total cost of the renovation for the facility was $225,000. Today CBP canines have a newly renovated facility that provides a safe environment for them.
CBP uses a layered enforcement approach to keep our borders secure. This approach begins with the primary inspection by CBP officers who make a determination to release the traveler into the country or to refer the person for a secondary inspection. In secondary, other officers may use several additional tools such as a non-intrusive imaging system or a K9 unit which is trained to detect the odor of narcotics and other prohibited items.
The newly renovated facility is able to house up to 19 canines. The CBP Port of Brownsville also has kennels at the Veterans International Bridge and the Los Indios International Bridge.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.