CBP, CBSA Host Joint Media Event
Reporters converge on Lewiston Bridge, get upclose view of border security
LEWISTON, N.Y. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection hosted members of the local and international media on June 10, for an in-depth view of border security and port operations.
The event was the first of its kind on the northern border, with CBP joining the Canada Border Services Agency to present procedures and technologies used by each country.
“Transparency is key to gaining public trust,” said Buffalo Field Office Acting Director Rose Hilmey. “Media events like this allow the public to get a behind the scenes look at our operation and gives the media an opportunity to ask questions about everything from traffic management to border security,” Hilmey said.
The media was given an overview of CBP’s primary inspection process, technology advancements, imposter detection, and K-9 detection dogs. CBP also presented use-of-force policy and training, including a live demonstration by firearms instructors. Media members were then given the chance to role play as CBP officers in scenarios involving the use of force.
“Officers are faced with split second decisions every day,” said Port of Buffalo Acting Port Director Mark MacVittie. “CBP employees are highly trained professionals who carry out their mission with vigilance and honor; it was a pleasure to showcase some of their skills during this media day.”
Media representatives also took part in an imposter detection exercise. Imposters utilize valid travel documents with pictures that bear a resemblance to their own facial features in an attempt to pass themselves off as someone else. The exercise exemplified the difficult job officers have when performing primary inspections at the border.
The event continued into the following day, with media members attending sessions presented by the U.S. Border Patrol. Touring operations facilities at the Buffalo Station, reporters were briefed on Border Patrol mission and operations along the Niagara River frontier area. Media were also provided opportunities to examine and operate various surveillance devices, and joined the riverine patrol for a high-speed ride down the Niagara River to Lake Erie.
“The U.S. Border Patrol was proud to be part of this international event,” said Agent Dean Mandel. “Enhancing public awareness of what we do is important to our success – expanding that awareness to an international audience results in a more secure border.”
CBP was proud to host the event with CBSA, and looks forward to conducting the joint media event annually.
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.