WASHINGTON -- Some U.S. Border Patrol agents don’t understand the agency’s rules regarding use of force and receive insufficient training, a report released Tuesday by a government watchdog office concludes.
After a series of fatal confrontations with agents on the Southwestern border, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General reviewed more than 1,187 allegations of excessive use of force in the five years ending Sept. 30, 2012.
According to the report, an audit of Border Patrol training showed that “many agents and officers do not understand use of force and the extent to which they may or may not use force.”
The report, entitled “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Use of Force Training and Actions to Address Use of Force Incidents,” also says training was too short and trainers were not giving sufficient tests on use of “less-lethal” force.
In response, James F. Tomsheck, the head of Customs and Border Protection Office of Internal Affairs, wrote that only one of 32 internal field training reviews showed that agents were unfamiliar with agency policies regarding use of force. He said the agency now tracks all use-of-force incidents and is improving training for agents and officers.