Customs and Border Protection will require its 60,000 agents and officers to wear body cameras on duty

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Customs and Border Protection will require its 60,000 agents and officers to wear body cameras on duty
A US Customs and Border Protection patch on the uniform of Rodolfo Karisch, Rio Grande Valley sector chief patrol agent, as he testifies during a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on April 9, 2019. Alex Edelman/Getty Images
  • US Customs and Border Protection agents will begin wearing body cameras.
  • The CBP said 6,000 will be deployed by the end of 2021.
  • There are at least 60,000 people in the CBP. The cameras will first go to border patrol locations along the southwest and northern borders.

US Customs and Border Protection said on Wednesday agents and officers will begin wearing body cameras in the line of duty due to a new department directive.

As of 2019, there were close to 60,000 CBP agents around the US. The CBP said in a press release approximately 6,000 of them will receive body cameras by the end of the year to reinforce trust in the agency.

Customs and Border Protection will require its 60,000 agents and officers to wear body cameras on duty
AP

Footage from body-worn cameras is frequently cited as evidence in trials to get a more accurate glimpse at what occurred at the time of the arrest. The release said the new cameras will be used to "document and review enforcement encounters and use of force incidents" while also investigating allegations of misconduct. The cameras are about the size of a deck of playing cards and are worn on the front of an officer's uniform.

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Troy Miller, Acting Commissioner of the CBP, said in the release the inclusion of the cameras will increase transparency between the department and the public.

"Our agents and officers serve the public and protect our borders every day with great skill and professionalism," Miller said. "Providing them with state-of-the-art technology and tools like body-worn cameras will support their work and provide greater transparency into interactions between CBP officers and agents and the public."

The agency said in the release the cameras are set to be deployed in phases starting with locations at the northern and southwest borders. Once those locations are stocked with cameras, the Office of Field Operations ports of entry staffers will be outfitted with cameras as well.

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