A new service award recently created by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for Border Patrol agents could actually put their lives at risk. The award recognizes an agent who does not use deadly force in a situation where they are confronted by an armed assailant.
“They want us to put ourselves in a bad tactical situation,” National Border Patrol Council Vice President Shawn Moran told Breitbart Texas in an interview Friday evening. “This could lead to one of our agents getting killed.”
The award is defined by the CBP as:
The Use of Deadly Force Encounter Averted award is to recognize and employee who demonstrated clear situational awareness and courage while disarming a suspect using contact controls and verbal commands before the situation escalated to the use of deadly force. The act must demonstrate courage in the face of an armed suspect and result in no injury in accordance with agencies use of force policy.
“At first, I thought this was a joke,” Moran told Breitbart Texas. But Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera contacted officials in the awards section of CBP and they confirmed it is true, he said. In addition to his Border Patrol duties Cabrera also serves as vice president of NBPC Local 3307 and as NBPC deputy spokesperson.
“This is a true indication about how the politically appointed leaders of the CBP truly feel about our agents,” he said.
Moran said he had not heard about the award before Cabrera brought it to his attention. “I can’t recall any official discussions between the union and the department over this,” he explained. “This is typical pandering by our executives to organizations like the ACLU and illegal alien advocates.”
The exacerbated leader of the NBPC which represents more than 18,000 men and women who protect our nation’s borders said, “They are more concerned about placating these groups than protecting Border Patrol agents.”
He said this is also typical for them to roll something like this out on the day before a big holiday weekend hoping no one will notice.
The policy appears to put just one more thing an agent must think about when faced with a life threatening situation.
The NBPC posted a copy of the award definition on its Facebook page earlier on Friday evening. Commenting on the award, the organization posted, “This type of thinking will get Border Patrol agents killed. If that happens we will hold the creators of this award accountable. This is despicable.”
The CBP seems to be following the lead of the Los Angeles Police Department who rolled out a “Preservation of Life Award.” The policy was designed to recognize officers who hold their fire to avoid using deadly force, Breitbart News’ William Bigelow reported in November 2015.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League had a similar reaction to that of the NBPC. The local police union responded that the award prioritizes the lives of suspected criminals over the lives of officers.
NATO forces in Europe considered a similar idea but never implemented it, Bigelow reported.
Moran told Breitbart Texas his organization plans on contacting CBP officials after the Memorial Day weekend.