US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep CBP.gov current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Ten Graduate from CBP Field Operations First Citizen's Academy Hosted by Brownsville Port of Entry

Release Date: 
March 31, 2011

Brownsville, Texas - Michael Freeman, Port Director, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Brownsville Port of Entry announced that the inaugural class of the first CBP Field Operations Brownsville Citizens Academy has graduated.

The CBP Field Operations Brownsville Citizens Academy (BCA) is part of an aggressive plan by Port Director Freeman to foster a better working relationship with the communities in which we live and work. The eight-week course provides class participants with a better working knowledge and understanding of CBP.

Team Photo

The academy consists of a series of classroom discussions and several hands-on scenarios. The citizens' academy is a field training that was held once a week on Tuesday evenings for eight weeks. The Brownsville Port of Entry plans to hold four to five academy classes each year with each class consisting of approximately 12 student participants. There is no registration or attendance cost to anyone who enrolls in the academy.

The goal of the BCA was to create a better understanding, improve communication, and partnership between the citizen academy participants and CBP through education. Community involvement plays an important role in travelers' entry document compliance and in reducing crime in any community. The first graduates of the Brownville Citizens' Academy have assisted us in identifying potential problems and solutions to the border issues that are affecting our community.

The first graduating class consisted of members from throughout our community. Represented in this Brownsville's First Citizens' Academy were members from the following organizations:

U.S. Consulate, Matamoros: U.S. Consul Michael Barkin, Assistant Consul Chinwe Obianwu

Mexico Consulate, Brownsville: Mexican Consul Rodolfo Quilantan, Assistant Consul Ramiro Ballesteros

Brownsville Chamber of Commerce CEO Angela Burton

San Benito Chamber of Commerce CEO Zeke Padilla

B&M Bridge Co. Manager John Hopkins, Assistant Manager Juan Sepulveda

Cameron County Bridge Manager Jesus Pena, Assistant Manager David Silva

"This inaugural class is a first of many for the Brownsville Port of Entry. I congratulate and applaud each participant for volunteering to attend our First Citizens' Academy and for their receptiveness as we continue to grow our partnership with our community," said Michael Freeman, CBP Port Director, Brownsville Port of Entry

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017