Pierre, S.D. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection has joined the flood response efforts after the May 13 U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announcement that federal disaster aid was made available to South Dakota to supplement the state and local recovery efforts in the area facing the Missouri river flooding.
To help support this effort CBP has deployed a 46-man response team to help support the recovery efforts in Pierre and Dakota Dunes. Assisting in the recovery efforts are U.S. Border Patrol Agents and Field Operations Officers from El Paso, Marfa, El Centro, Rio Grande Valley, Del Rio, Laredo, Buffalo and Detroit Sectors, and also the Chicago and Seattle Field offices. Also assisting is the Headquarters, Joint Operations Directorate.
Within hours of arriving in South Dakota, officers and agents from CBP were sworn in by the Union County, South Dakota state magistrate and Hughes County sheriff and given state peace officer authority. The swearing-in allows Border Patrol agents and CBP officers the legal authority to work as law enforcement officers in Union and Hughes County, South Dakota.
The agents and officers participating in this emergency declaration will be assisting with traffic control points and law enforcement teams. They will also be assisting with patrols to check on the welfare of citizens, and emergency response.
The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe.
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.