Homeland Security looks to single-border contact

Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge said that his agency in the midst of unifying the border inspection process under one customs and border protection officer, who will be cross-trained to address three inspection needs. “When you come into this country in many places, first you'd see an INS inspector, then conceivably a customs inspector, and if you had some food or plants, you'd see a plant

Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge said that his agency in the midst of unifying the border inspection process under one customs and border protection officer, who will be cross-trained to address three inspection needs.

“When you come into this country in many places, first you'd see an INS inspector, then conceivably a customs inspector, and if you had some food or plants, you'd see a plant health inspection service inspector,” he said in a speech this week at the American Enterprise Institute. “The disadvantage was that each inspector was trained for only one specific area with the other two issues were basically somebody else's problem.”

Ridge noted that his department has already recruited its first group of customs and border protection officers and will train throughout this fall.

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