Warroad Port of Entry hosts local school field trip
WARROAD, Minn. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) and U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) recently sponsored an outreach event on May 25 where students, ages 11-12, who are enrolled in sixth grade at Warroad’s Independent School District 690, were provided a glimpse in the day of a working CBP officer and Border Patrol agent.
“The day was very educational and provided the students with a better understanding of the work performed by CBP and other federal agencies,” said Port Director Brian King. “I am hopeful that the hands-on experience provided today will spark interest for these students in considering positions in CBP or public service later in life.”
CBP Supervisory Officer Amanda Johnson welcomed the students and let them know they would partake in a facility tour, which would include some hands-on demonstrations provided by OFO and USBP staff. The students were separated into four groups and each group attended the various demonstrations.
CBP Officer Juli Dunn provided students with a short video on the responsibilities of Customs and Border Protection Officers and Border Patrol agents as well as a tour of the port of entry.
CBP Agriculture Specialist Matthew Pendergast, from the International Falls Port of Entry, provided a look at the CBP agriculture mission and inspection process. The demonstration included an exercise that allowed the students to find and identify “pests” in relation to safeguarding U.S. agriculture and industry.
Border Patrol Agent Tony Thortsen, a dedicated less-lethal instructor, and Border Patrol Agent Nathan McMillan provided a hands-on use of force demonstration and an inside view at what tools CBP officers and Border Patrol agents carry in the performance of duties. The students were allowed to handle some training aids and received a tour of the firearms range, which proved to be a highlight to many of the students.
CBP Officers Joshua Paulson and Matthew Schreiner provided a demonstration of CBP’s non-intrusive technology, which included a brief description of the tools used in vehicle inspection, to include the fiber-optic scope and buster. A practical exercise was also provided where the students were given an opportunity to search a vehicle loaded with mock contraband.
The day ended with a demonstration by a USBP narcotics detection dog “Ulix.” Two K-9 demonstrations were provided by USBP K-9 Handler Seth Whitney where students were able to witness the detection of narcotics and a person hidden in the trunk of a vehicle.
The Warroad Port of Entry and Warroad Border Patrol Station look forward to this event on a yearly basis.
“These CBP officers and Border Patrol agents thoroughly enjoy this annual event and we look forward to providing insight into CBP’s frontline mission at the Warroad Port of Entry again next year,” said Port Director King.
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.