DHS' Customs & Border Protection Division Unveils Fact Sheet on Securing Borders

Fact sheet discusses use of surveillance, adjunct technologies, cargo analysis and more


Personal Radiation Detector: a small, but highly sensitive, device carried by CBP officers at ports of entry and CBP Border Patrol agents at highway checkpoints. It will sound an alarm if radiation is detected during an inspection or enforcement operation. More than 10,500 are carried by CBP officers and agents nationwide.

Radiation Isotope Identifiers: a hand-held instrument capable of detecting gamma and neutron emissions from radioactive sources, including nuclear, medical and industrial isotopes. CBP officers use this device to determine the exact identity of a radioactive source causing an alarm. More than 500 are in use with more on order.

Large-scale Gamma-ray/X-ray Imaging Systems: produce transmission and reflected images of the contents of a cargo container, rail car, vehicle or trailer-truck. CBP officers analyze these images to determine where there are anomalies associated with the cargo listed on the manifest. There are 166 systems in use, with more to be added.

The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System: provides rapid identification of individuals with outstanding criminal warrants by electronically comparing a live-scanned fingerprint against a database of previously captured prints. IAFIS is deployed to all 142 Border Patrol stations and more than 150 ports of entry. From September 2004 through the end of April 2005, CBP Border Patrol agents have arrested 297 homicide suspects, 110 kidnapping suspects, 448 sexual assault suspects, 674 robbery suspects, 4,128 suspects for assaults of other types, and 8,224 suspects involved with dangerous narcotics as a direct result of IAFIS.

Itemizer: a trace particle detection capable of identifying both explosives and narcotics.

Portable Contraband Detector 'Buster': can locate density anomalies concealed inside tires, dashboards, fenders, cargo container doors and walls, and other types of homogeneous, opaque surfaces/objects.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV): used in conjunction with ground-based sensors, UAVs can fly to areas of sensor activity, spot the cause of the activation, and maintain surveillance. It can also operate independently using programmed flight plans, or under the control of UAV mission specialists, using on board sensors to detect and track border intrusions by vehicles and personnel. The UAV is capable of performing high endurance missions that can last far longer than typical manned aircraft flights, and allow more efficient use of available apprehension forces.

Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System (ISIS): consist of the Remote Video Surveillance (RVS) camera systems, sensors, and the Integrated Computer Assisted Detection (ICAD) database. ISIS serves to detect intrusion, aid in agent dispatching, and estimating attempts of illegal entry.

Geographic Information System (GIS): a mapping program that depict developing trends or patterns regarding areas of rescues or deaths. It provides CBP Border Patrol agents with the ability to pre-stage emergent response resources.

These detection, inspection and surveillance tools are only a portion of the technology that CBP uses on a daily basis to accomplish its mission of protecting America. In addition, CBP is continually searching for new and improved technologies such as the America's Shield Initiative or the Advanced Passenger Information System and many others to further ensure safety and security against terrorism.