Emergency Planning Project: United States Border Patrol




Shifferly, Kyle James

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The United States Border Patrol (USBP) was founded almost 90 years ago and tasked with the mission of being the first line of defense along the borders of the nation. The mission has evolved over the years to include new threats and hazards that present a danger to Americans. U.S. Border Patrol Stations have to be prepared for the dangers presented by natural disasters, terrorist and illegal immigrants on a daily basis.

A Border Patrol Processing Facility was utilized and researched in the formulation of this Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). The facility is located within a USBP station in southwest Texas, which has an area of responsibility (AOR) about 33 miles along the U.S./Mexican border. The facility is used to detainee individuals that are apprehended by Border Patrol Agents within the stations AOR.

The increase in apprehensions initiated the process of determining how prepared the facility was for different emergency situations. The emergency situations that were assessed were floods, fires, active shooter(s), bomb threats, HazMat incidents, severe weather, gas leaks, terrorist threats and train derailments. Coordinated efforts were made with management to conduct evaluations which included reviewing current EOPs, onsite inspections, reviewing reports from law enforcement and fire responses, as well as, geographical information specific to nearby commercial or other associated threats which may affect the outcome of the plan. Integrated Rapid Visual Screening (IRVS) of the facility was also conducted pursuant to FEMA and DoE guidelines.

During the gathering of research about hazardous materials being transported through the community, the issue of security clearance became a factor for BNSF Railway and the Department of Homeland Security. The type and quantity of a hazardous material could mean life and death, especially during an emergency evacuation where distance is the life saving factor. Upon completion of the evaluations, recommendations were made for improvements to the facility.