WARROAD, Minn. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO), U.S. Border Patrol (USBP), along with Air and Marine Operations (AMO) recently sponsored an outreach event Tuesday where students enrolled in sixth grade at Warroad’s Independent School District 690 were provided a day in the life of CBP.
“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 Jared Olafson. “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 Supervisor Amanda Johnson welcomed the students and let them know they would be provided a port tour and hands-on demonstrations provided by CBP staff. The students were separated into five groups and each group attended the various demonstrations.
International Falls CBP Agriculture Specialist Jessica Friedt 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” to safeguard U.S. agriculture and industry.
Border Patrol Agent Tony Thortsen and CBP Officer Trevor Hammer provided a hands-on use of force demonstration and an inside look at what tools CBP officers and Border Patrol agents carry on duty. The students were allowed to handle some training aids and received a tour of the firearms range, which was a highlight for many of the students.
CBP Officers Joshua Paulson and Jarret Tomczak 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.
Supervisory BPA Western provided an in-depth tour of Border Patrol assets to include the vessel utilized on Lake of the Woods. AMO Air Interdiction Agent Benson was a highlight of the tour as the AMO helicopter was able to land on site for all of the kids to tour.
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.
“These CBP officers, Border Patrol agents, and AMO 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 Olafson.