DETROIT, MI - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today the successful unification of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) workforce by swearing-in and presenting CBP Officers, CBP Agriculture Specialists, and Border Patrol Agents with the first DHS law enforcement badges. This historic accomplishment was marked by ceremonies in Newark, NJ; San Diego, CA; and Detroit, Michigan. It is a major milestone in Secretary Ridge's "One Face at the Border" initiative - one border agency at and between our Nation's ports of entry to manage and secure our Nation's borders.
"The Customs and Border Protection badges that you see today are the badges of honor in the war on terrorism. In the weeks to follow, each of our 30,000 CBP Officers, CBP Agriculture Specialists, and CBP Border Patrol Agents will be issued a new badge under which they will carry out their mission as one unified force protecting America's borders," stated Secretary Ridge.
While cross-training and other aspects of integration have been underway for some time, all former Customs and Immigration inspectors have now been converted to the CBP Officer position. The former Agriculture inspectors were converted to CBP Agriculture Specialists a few months ago, and granted pay parity with CBP Officers.
"It is an honor for me to administer a new oath to our front line officers and agents under the Department of Homeland Security," Commissioner Bonner said. "This new oath and the badges we pin on today are symbolic of the dedication of U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees to protect our borders against the terrorist threat. At CBP, as "One Face at the Border," we are building on strong traditions, but we are also forging a new tradition, a tradition of total professionalism and excellence."
The conversion of Immigration and Customs Inspectors to the CBP Officer position, a key component of "One Face at the Border", was made possible with the recent implementation of the Customs Officer Pay Reform Act (COPRA). COPRA took effect on July 25, 2004, providing a single overtime system for frontline officers at the ports of entry and ensuring efficient and equitable work assignments and compensation.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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.Contacts For This Press Release 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Room 3.4A Washington, DC. 20229 Media Services Phone: (202) 344-1780 or (800) 826-1471 Fax: (202) 344-1393 CBP Headquarters Office of Public Affairs 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Room 3.4A Washington, D.C. 20229 Phone: (202) 344-1780 Fax: (202) 344-1393