Border Patrol To Get Body-Worn Cameras While Marshals Service Resists


Federal border agents will record more interactions on video cameras, including body-worn devices, although the technology will be rolled out only gradually, the Wall Street Journal reports. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said, “The goal is to employ body cameras where they would be most useful and helpful.'' The devices would be introduced slowly because of technical and legal concerns, he added. The move by CBP, part of the Department of Homeland Security, stands in contrast to the posture of the Justice Department, which has yet to write a policy on body cameras by its agents even as it pushes and pays for local police to use them.

One arm of the Justice Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, has decided that no police officers wearing body cameras could serve with the Marshals on joint task forces. Customs and Border Protection officials declined to provide details about how many cameras they envision using, as well as where and when they would be rolled out, saying more study is needed before such questions can be answered. Technical hurdles remain to using certain kinds of cameras in the often-dusty environment of the southern U.S. border. A staff report noted concerns among Border Patrol agents that video footage could be used in disciplinary measures against them.

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