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DHS Delegates Criminal Misconduct Investigative Authority to CBP

Release Date: 
September 18, 2014

CBP Aligns With Law Enforcement Best Practices

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced today his decision to delegate to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the authority to investigate its employees for alleged criminal misconduct.  As a result, CBP is converting qualified internal affairs employees from general investigators to criminal investigators.  This authority will allow CBP to perform misconduct investigations with more transparency and hold the workforce accountable.

“Since my confirmation, I’ve been committed to increasing transparency and making changes to improve accountability of the CBP work force,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “This announcement is part of a larger effort to hold the workforce accountable for maintaining a high standard of integrity and aligning CBP with law enforcement best practices throughout the country.”

Previously, CBP was not the primary investigating entity nor did it have the delegated authority to conduct internal affairs investigations of criminal misconduct.  With the delegated authority, CBP can investigate criminal allegations referred to it by the Inspector General, and CBP can utilize resources to work in a collaborative investigative environment. 

Based on an FBI best practice, CBP is implementing a unified, formal review process for use of force incidents.  This process will create a unified and measured CBP-wide approach to effectively respond to, investigate, coordinate, report, review, and resolve use of force incidents in a timely manner.  Additionally, as part of the process, an interagency board will review use of force incidents to determine compliance with policy and best law enforcement practices for training, tactics, and equipment.

In response to a U.S. Government Accountability Office recommendation, CBP is adopting a comprehensive integrity and personal accountability strategy for all employees, uniformed and non-uniformed personnel alike.  The strategy focuses on four areas:  prevention, detection, investigation, and response to corruption and misconduct ensuring that CBP holds its employees to the highest levels of professional and personal integrity and ethical standards at all times – whether on or off duty.      

In addition, CBP is forming an Integrity Advisory Panel co-chaired by former Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Karen Tandy, and Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, William J. Bratton.  Former Administrator Tandy and Commissioner Bratton will lead a panel of some of the most respected names in both federal and municipal law enforcement to provide CBP with best practices and recommendations from federal, state, and local law enforcement integrity thought leaders.

"It is an honor to co-chair Customs and Border Protection’s Integrity Advisory Panel,” said Karen Tandy. “Integrity is the bedrock of effective law enforcement and vital to maintaining the public's trust.”

Commissioner William J. Bratton said, "I am proud to have the opportunity to be a part of this Integrity Advisory Panel. The NYPD is committed to constitutional and respectful policing because it is the basis for effective enforcement and it is with this commitment that I will collaborate with the members of this panel to create best practices and recommendations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”

The integrity and personal accountability strategy and fact sheet can be viewed or downloaded at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017