Border Patrol asking for ideas on body, car camera systems

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 6:25 PM

S. Customs and Border Protection agency is asking the private sector for suggestions on camera systems that could be worn by border agents or mounted to patrol cars.

Border Patrol asking for ideas on body, car camera systems

The U. S. Customs and Border Protection agency is asking the private sector for suggestions on camera systems that could be worn by border agents or mounted to patrol cars.

The proposal to have agents wear cameras came amid concerns that border agents have been too fast to utilize force, including shooting people along the U. S.-Mexico border.

But Border Patrol data released Thursday shows that uses of physical force by Border Patrol agents and border inspectors have been declining in the past seventeen months.

Between October two thousand fourteen and September two thousand fifteen, CBP reported seven hundred sixty-eight uses of force, a drop of about twenty-six % from the 1.037 incidents the previous year and down about thirty-seven % from the 1.215 incidents in 2013.

Since October, Border Patrol agents have used their guns four times and other force two hundred forty-nine times.

The new statistics don't comprise details about the incidents or whether they were ruled justified below the agency's policies.

The requests according to about camera systems were published on a government business website Thursday. It marks a minor step forward in a continuing review by the agency to determine if Border Patrol agents and Customs officers should wear body cameras.

Late latest year, the agency announced it was holding off on deploying cameras to agents and officers, saying the idea needed more study despite a yearlong review. President Barack Obama's two thousand seventeen budget proposal included a request for $5 million to assistance the agency move forward on cameras testing.

"CBP is committed to this effort and expanded transparency through a no of efforts, including an increased camera infrastructure," Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske said Thursday.

The agency certified body cameras latest year in simulated environments such as the Border Patrol training school in Artesia, New Mexico, and later expanded trials to ninety agents and officers who volunteered across the country to utilize them on their jobs.

Agency staff said in an Aug report that cameras could be a deterrent to frivolous complaints against agents, create utilize of force less likely, and allow proof for criminal prosecutions. But the review also found that the cameras certified were unsuited for the rugged, remote areas where most Border Patrol agents work.

Kerlikowske has previously attributed the decline in utilize of force incidents to revamped rules on when and how border agents can use force.

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Associated Press reporter Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed to this report.

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