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Tag: training

Border Patrol Tries to Combat Migrant Deaths with Training on Severe Heat, Rough Terrain

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have seen enough bodies of immigrants who died while attempting to cross the border illegally.

In the Tucson Sector alone, 84 bodies were found last year.

Every year, the Tucson Sector hosts “Border Patrol Initiative” to teach agents, nonprofits and the media about the dangers of the rough terrain and heat, KGUN9-TV reports

The session over the weekend included a 3-mile hike through the desert.

“I want you guys to experience the heat, the dryness, the thirst that’s going to take over,” Acting Special Operations Supervisor Steven Passement said at the beginning of the session. “You’re kind of putting yourself in the feet, or the shoes — if you will — of a migrant.”

Deaths appear to be increasing, Passement said, because criminal smuggling groups don’t show compassion for migrants who struggle with the terrain or weather.

“Unfortunately, you’re looking at a criminal organization that has no loyalty,” he said. “They don’t have the migrants interests at heart. They look at them as cattle. If one falls behind, they’ll leave them.”

Ex-Internal Affairs Chief Says Border Patrol Agents Receiving Inadequate Training

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents are receiving inadequate training and poor screening, resulting in unnecessary use of lethal force, according to the former head of internal affairs at Customs and Border Protection.

James Tomscheck also said in a Supreme Court ruling that an agent should be held accountable for killing a Mexican teen, the Associated Press reports. The case involved the shooting of 15-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca in 2010.

A CBP spokesman declined to comment.

Tomscheck served as assistant commission of the CBP Office of Internal Affairs from June 2006 to June 2014, focusing on the oversight of use-of-force investigations.

“As security along the border has increased, criminal organizations seeking inroads into the United States have attempted to infiltrate the Border Patrol. And pre-hiring screening programs have been inadequate, leading the Border Patrol in some instances to hire actual cartel members as agents,” the brief, which also includes Tomsheck’s second-in-command, James Wong, states.

Tomscheck also wrote that the agency is becoming more militarized.

“Combined with inadequate field training on appropriate uses of force, these factors have led to an environment in which Border Patrol agents have unnecessarily employed lethal force on the U.S.-Mexico border,” the brief states.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Agents in Training Visit MLK Memorial As Part of Cultural-Sensitivity Training

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents who undergo months-long training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., undergo target practice and training for surveillance and self-defense.

But one of the newest exercises involves FBI agents in training to take a trip to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

The trainees, dressed in plainclothes, were told to pick the most inspirational MLK quote etched into the stone slabs of the memorial and then discuss it, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The point of the exercise is to show the FBI’s questionable investigations into King, which included racially motivated wiretapping and harassment.

FBI trainees receive other forms of cultural-sensitivity training, including visiting the National Holocaust Museum.

“We wanted to provide a lesson of what happens when power is abused and the responsibility that comes with being in the FBI,” said Cynthia DeWitte, a curriculum manager at the FBI academy. “We wanted this to be more than a field trip.”

Claustrophobic? Exploring Underground Drug-Smuggling Passages Probably Not for You

Cross-border tunnel discovered by authorities this year.

Cross-border tunnel discovered by authorities this year.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Someone with claustrophobia should not work with Border Patrol’s Entry team, which explores underground drug-smuggling passages near the border with Mexico.

The Los Angele Times reports that prospective members of the team must prove they can handle tight spaces by wiggling through a two-foot wide pipe for about 20 yards.

“You know right off if it’s playing with someone’s mind,” said Lance LeNoir, who leads the five person squad. “It takes some psyching up, to say the least, to do the job.”

The job is getting more difficult because team members are finding longer and tighter underground passages.

The average tunnel of the past two years was 2,450 feet.

How CIA Left Behind Explosives in School Bus for Special-Needs Students

CIA Headquarters

CIA Headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The CIA left explosive material in the engine compartment of a school bus for special-needs students after a bomb-sniffing exercise.

The exercise last week took place at Briar Woods High School, which is about a half hour from the CIA’s headquarters in northern Virginia. Students were on spring break at the time.

The explosive material was found by a mechanic during a routine maintenance check on Wednesday, Richmond.com reports. 

The live explosives were left behind because the CIA lost track of them.

Dean Boyd, a CIA spokesman, confirmed the training team left behind “explosive material used as a training device for K-9s. This material is commonly used by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to train K-9s in explosives detection.”

The agency “has taken immediate steps to strengthen inventory and control procedures in its K-9 program to prevent such incidents from happening again,” Boyd said, noting that the CIA has done a full inventory of explosive material used in the training program. “CIA is a part of the Northern Virginia community and we will do whatever it takes to prevent this from happening again.”

Other Stories of Interest

TSA Looking for Adoptive Families for Their Furry Partners

dog-foodBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA is looking for homes for its furry companions.

The dogs are either retired from the TSA or didn’t pass explosives detection training.

They include German short-haired pointers, Belgian malinois and Labrador retrievers.

The canines are available for adoption at no cost, but adoptive families must travel to San Antonio to retrieve the dogs.

Interested in a furry companion? Email the TSA coordinator at AdoptaTSAcanine@OLE.tsa.dhs.gov.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Agent Shot by Own Gun at Firearms Training in California

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent was shot in the leg by his own gun Thursday during a firearms training in California, U-T San Diego reports. 

Officials said they still aren’t certain if the gun malfunctioned or was accidentally discharged.

The unidentified agent was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The accident happened about 10 a.m. at the San Diego Regional Firearms Training Center.

Secret Service Agents Spent Average of Just 25 Minutes Training in 2014

secret service photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One reason the Secret Service is making so many embarrassing blunders may have something to do with the lack of training.

The Fiscal Times reports that the Secret Service’s uniformed officers trained for an average of just 25 minutes in fiscal 2013, a significant decline over previous years

The Secret Service typically sent special agents to eight training classes a year. Now agents are lucky to take a class, the an independent panel investigating the agency told Congress last week.

The panelists suggested that the Secret Service hire 200 new uniformed officers and 85 special agents, which would mark a 4.5% increase in the overall workforce.

“No organization is perfect,” said Mark Filip, one of the panelists. “It’s not a weakness to acknowledge there are problems. Accept them and move forward.”

Other Stories of Interest