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Residents can gain border patrol insight through academy

LANGDON, N.D.--Some U.S. citizens will get a chance to see what it takes to be a border agent. Beginning June 21, the Pembina Border Patrol Station will host a Citizen's Academy one day a week for five weeks in Langdon. Though Citizen's Academies...

LANGDON, N.D.-Some U.S. citizens will get a chance to see what it takes to be a border agent.

Beginning June 21, the Pembina Border Patrol Station will host a Citizen's Academy one day a week for five weeks in Langdon. Though Citizen's Academies are not new to U.S. Customs and Border Protections, it is for the Pembina Station.

"The goal of this academy is to foster the relationship between the participating agencies and the local community by providing a venue where we may interact face to face," Mike Prichard, a public affairs officer with the Grand Forks Border Patrol Station, wrote in an email to the Herald.

He said stations always are looking for ways to build relationships with the communities they serve, and this is one way to do so.

In April, more than 19,000 people passed through the border near Pembina, about 75 miles north of Grand Forks. The Pembina Station covers about 100 miles of Canadian border in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. It reports to the Grand Forks Sector, which is responsible for 861 miles along the northern border.

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Because the area of responsibility for the Border Patrol is so vast, maintaining a working relationship with community members is paramount to securing the border, he added.

"One of the desired outcomes of this Citizen's Academy is to provide participants with an enhanced understanding of how Customs and Border Protections and local law enforcement strive to secure our border and keep our communities safe," Prichard said. "Upon successfully completing the Citizen's Academy, participants will have a better understanding of what they can do to assist Customs and Border Protections and local law enforcement in the accomplishment of their missions."

Participants will gain insight into daily life of border patrol agents through classroom and hands-on activities. This will include learning about federal and state laws, use of force policies, arrest and self-defense techniques, fraudulent document and imposter identification, and tours of the Maida Port of Entry, the Pembina Station, the U.S./Canadian border and Customs aircraft.

One day will be dedicated to a Custom and Border Protection use of force training simulator.

"Participants will have the opportunity to experience a life-like law enforcement scenario and exercise what they have learned throughout the Citizen's Academy," Prichard said.

While graduates will have a better understanding of the Border Patrol's mission and how to better assist law enforcement agencies, such as how to report suspicious activities, participants will not be granted any type of authority, Prichard said.

"The laws and authorities covered during the Citizen's Academy can only be enforced by law enforcement officers who have been sworn to do so," he said.

U.S. citizens who wish to participate must be at least 18 years old. Those interested in participating should apply by Wednesday. Applications are available at the Cavalier County Sheriff's Office in Langdon.

Related Topics: PEMBINA
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