CBP Hosts Open House, Enthralls More Than 1,000 Schoolchildren in Laredo
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hosted a major open house as part of National Police Week activities in Laredo, Texas and captivated the attention of more than 1,000 local schoolchildren. CBP personnel also earned top honors in a fire engine pull and canine competition.
CBP's three principal field divisions in the area; Office of Air and Marine's Laredo Air Branch, Laredo Sector Border Patrol, and Office of Field Operations' Laredo Port of Entry each provided displays of tools of the trade at the Laredo Civic Center parking lot including a CBP helicopter, airboat, ATVs, Horse Patrol and a Non-Intrusive Imaging (NII) System.
Schoolchildren of varying ages funneled through a series of exhibit booths from Laredo Port of Entry, including import specialists, agriculture specialists, primary firearms instructors, a canine demonstration and an NII system. CBP personnel were on-hand to describe the various tools CBP uses to secure the homeland.
CBP agriculture specialists provided examples of seized fruit and explained why certain fruits are prohibited since they may carry pests and plant diseases not known to occur in the U.S.
CBP import specialists showed examples of items that were seized for infringing on brand names that are trademark recorded with CBP.
Laredo Sector Border Patrol showcased a variety of their specialized units, including the Horse Patrol, Special Operations Division, ATVs, Marine Patrol, Bike Patrol and the Border Community Liaison (BCL) unit. The Horse Patrol and Marine Patrol units proved to be big draws as students lined up to pet the horses and gaze at the large airboat. BCL agents were on hand to hand out junior agent stickers to throngs of schoolchildren.
Throughout the day a team from National Geographic's "Border Wars" program captured images of CBP officers and agents interacting with the community.
CBP's Open House also coincided with other National Police Week activities, including a fire engine pull and a canine competition.
A CBP Field Operations team of male and female CBP officers garnered a first place win with a time of under 16 seconds. The fire engine pull honored Special Olympics athletes. Special Olympics athletes presented the winning trophies and posed for pictures with the teams in front of the fire engine.
In the canine competition, CBP canine officers from Office of Field Operations and Border Patrol placed at prizewinning levels in the vehicle search, building search and overall categories. CBP canine enforcement officers competed within a field of 25 canine teams from various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
Border Patrol agent (Canine) G. Madrigal and CBP officer (Canine) R. Guajardo placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in the vehicle search category. CBP officer (Canine) J. Muñoz placed 2nd in the building search category and also placed 3rd in the overall team category.
The canine teams had to run through a timed course alerting to various training aids hidden in vehicles in an outdoor environment and among various household items in an indoor environment.
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.