The largest law enforcement agency in the country has made progress in sharing information after use-of-force incidents but there’s still work to be done, the head of Customs and Border Protection said.
“We are doing better but I wouldn’t say that given the vast geography and size of the organization that it’s all running as smoothly as I would like to see it,” R. Gil Kerlikowske told the Arizona Daily Star a day before the agency held a news conference to discuss its latest shooting incident in Southern Arizona involving a Border Patrol agent.
Since Kerlikowske was appointed to head the agency, which oversees the Border Patrol, he has pushed for greater transparency and accountability by releasing its use-of-force policy. More recently it also publicly disclosed the number of use-of-force incidents, which it said it will start to update monthly broken down by sector, agency branch and other measures.
After a use-of-force incident, a high level CBP official is now supposed to make a statement to the public and release as much information as possible, even when the investigation is ongoing, he said, and cited recent examples where that has been done.
During a Q&A with the Star, Kerlikowske — who has 40 years of law enforcement experience, including nine as chief of police in Seattle — talked about his push for accountability and current hiring challenges.