Thousands of border agents to be required to wear body cameras

Thousands of border agents to be required to wear body cameras
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced on Wednesday that it will be outfitting its agents with body cameras in order to "enhance its policing practices and reinforce trust and transparency."

The target deployment is expected to include 6,000 cameras by the end of 2021, CBP said in a statement. Agents will wear the cameras on the front of their uniforms and they will be running in the background continuously. Once an agent activates the camera, it will begin saving footage from two minutes before it was activated.

"The implementation of body-worn cameras will further strengthen CBP’s ability to document and review enforcement encounters and use of force incidents, and to investigate allegations of misconduct on the part of our personnel," the agency said. "This is a significant step forward and will build upon CBP’s current utilization of other technology to investigate incidents and allegations of misconduct."

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There are approximately 20,000 CBP officers currently on the force. CBP stated that it would deploy the cameras in stages at Border Patrol locations along the southern and northern borders. The deployment will later include select Office of Field Operations ports of entry.

“Our agents and officers serve the public and protect our borders every day with great skill and professionalism,” acting CBP Commissioner Troy 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.”

A feasibility study on body cameras was first conducted in 2014. Following this, further studies were conducted in 2018, which recommended that body cameras be deployed to select Border Patrol and Office of Field Operations locations.