CBP announces schedule for public informational classes

Published on Wed, Jan 4, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials plan to hold a seven-week citizens’ academy so residents can learn more about CBP operations.

The inaugural class will run from 5  to 7 p.m. on January 30 at the CBP Blaine Sector headquarters at 2410 Nature’s Path Way in Blaine. Later classes will also be held in Sumas and Bellingham. The seven-week course is limited to 10 people.

Richard Sinks, CBP supervisory officer and Blaine sector community liaison, said 40 members of the public have signed up so far, meaning the first seven-week class running from January to March is already full. However, Sinks still encouraged those interested to sign up so CBP can gauge how many future courses to organize. Anyone interested in attending the classes must undergo a limited background check prior to being selected.

Attendees will learn about all three branches of the CBP: the Border Patrol, which operates between border crossings; the Office of Field Operations, which operates at the border crossings; and the Office of Air and Marine, which performs air- and sea-born operations. Sinks said each class will focus on one aspect of CBP, and the seven-week course will culminate with a review, test of attendees’ knowledge and graduation ceremony.

The January to March academy schedule is as follows:

First Week: Class will be held at Blaine Sector headquarters and offer an introduction to the course and overview of CBP operations.

Second Week: Class will be held at the Peace Arch Point of Entry and detail the work that Office of Field Operations agents do at border crossings.

Third Week: Class will be held at Blaine sector Office of Air and Marine headquarters in Bellingham and offer a look at CBP’s air- and sea-born operations.

Fourth Week: Class will be held at the Blaine sector headquarters and will detail the many different duties of each branch of CBP.

Fifth Week: Class will be held at the Sumas station and take attendees on a hike along the border while demonstrating some of CBP’s technology, including night vision goggles.

Sixth Week: Class will be held at the Sumas station and detail CBP’s use of force regulations, including use of firearms.

Seventh Week: Class will be held at the Blaine sector headquarters and provide a review of the course, culmination in a test of attendees’ knowledge and a graduation ceremony.

For for more information on the course, contact Sinks at 360/332-9255 or blwbordercommunityliaison@cbp.dhs.gov.

Above, right: The Blaine Boys & Girls Club enjoyed a Christmas party featuring a visit from Customs and Border Protection officers and a member of its canine unit. Photo by Andrea Green.