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There’s a new Sheriff in Town....not


blues deville
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I know there are good reasons for being armed at airports these days  but we have properly trained police for those times. However, from my personal experience after years of being greeted (or not) by this sometimes less than happy group I’d have to be on the “no” side. Some of my more memorable comments as heard across our Canadian airports:

1) “You airline people are the worst for smuggling”.

2) “Go back to the end of the line. There’s no special treatment hear”.

3) “Can’t give you my name but here’s my badge number”. 

4) “Stop. I can’t see your card. Hold it up like this”.

5) “I wouldn’t file a complaint. Nothing will happen”.  

6) “Ah, can you stand behind the line.”  (I was standing on the line.)

https://www.cbc.ca/news//handguns-border-officers-transport-airport-regulations-sidearms-pco-cbsa-1.4770336

Edited by blues deville
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Sorry to hear that your experience with Customs is negative. I guess I have always been very lucky, I don't travel as much now as when I was working but then and now I have never had an negative experience with Customs / immigration in any of the many countries, including of course Canada that I travelled to/from.

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3 hours ago, Malcolm said:

Sorry to hear that your experience with Customs is negative. I guess I have always been very lucky, I don't travel as much now as when I was working but then and now I have never had an negative experience with Customs / immigration in any of the many countries, including of course Canada that I travelled to/from.

Well not all bad. A redeye after midnight turn at LAX on my birthday was noticed by US customs officer in the Bradley terminal. The officer on duty told everyone in earshot to sing “Happy Birthday. :)

FA36DA00-7D0F-4B92-815D-A2A5C7FC6B96.jpeg

Edited by blues deville
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It's me, of course, but I've had multiple negative experiences with border agents. Entering the US, primarily at border crossings, numerous examples of less than polite agents; " Why should I let you into my country?" And those were the first words exchanged!! Returning to Canada, I've encountered rude and abrupt agents with nary a word of welcome. I've gone to a supervisor to complain ( quelle surprise!). And yet, I have no negative observations or experiences regarding EU agents.

Over-all? I'm not bitching.

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The dumbest thing that I ever saw was at Calgary.  

An RAF L1011 arrived just before us and the customs hall had 15 to 20 young lads in each lane.  All had the same haircut, carrying the same backpack and the same brand new special issue passport.  The old female agent asked everyone of the kids in front of me the same questions.

1. Where are you going

2. How long will you be there

3.  Who is your employer.

I could have answered the questions for every kid. 1.Suffield Alberta, 2. One month  3. The British Army

But she just had to ask evey kid the same questions before she stamped the passport.

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Appears from this article, we are not doing too badly in comparision.

Quote

BA boss demands action on Heathrow queues

The boss of British Airways has criticised long queues at Heathrow, saying arrivals face two-hour waits to get through border control.

Alex Cruz has written a letter to the Times saying queues at the London airport are "significantly worse" than other major hubs across the world.

The letter is in response to proposals for "UK-only" lines after Brexit.

The Home Office said most of those arriving at Heathrow passed border control within agreed time limits.

These are 25 minutes for EEA (European Economic Area) nationals, and 45 minutes for those coming in from outside that region.

Mr Cruz said UK-only lines were a matter for government, but its priority should be preventing long queues now.

The airline chief executive called on Home Secretary Sajid Javid to "take immediate action to address this border farce".

Mr Cruz said although the target wait for non-EEA travellers coming into Heathrow was 45 minutes, two hours was "fast becoming the norm".

The BA boss said the target was missed 8,298 times last year and the number had already reached more than 6,000 for 2018.

He also said that those from within the EEA wait almost an hour.

 

Case study: 'It should be better prepared'

Adrian Felton, 45, and his family from West Sussex were frustrated by queue times when they arrived at Terminal 5 from Nice last Friday.

"We queued for well over an hour to get through passport control. As we have young children we could not use the e-gates. There were only four border control desks open for a full arrivals hall. After about an hour more desks were opened, but too late.

"I can understand that we can't take children through e-gates but Heathrow is not catering for families. It is an airport and should be better prepared for scheduled flights coming in."


'Immediate action'

"This is unacceptable," said Mr Cruz - quoting the head of the UK's Border Force, Nick Jariwalla as saying it was unlikely to change, or for his teams to meet their targets.

He added: "What kind of message does this send as we try to build links outside the EU?

"We need more than UK-only lanes to show Britain is open for business, and that includes Sajid Javid taking immediate action to address this border farce once and for all."

A Heathrow spokeswoman also said delays at border control were too long.

"Heathrow is Britain's front door and it should be welcoming, as well as secure. It takes far too long for low-risk passengers who have a right to be here to get through the border, which is unacceptable," the spokeswoman said.

"We are calling on the home secretary to allow low-risk passengers from non-EU countries such as the US and Canada to use e-gates, in the same way as our EU friends can."

No compromise on safety

A Home Office spokeswoman said from January to June 2018, more than 95% of people arriving at Heathrow passed border control within the agreed time limits.

However, she added: "We understand the frustration for those who have experienced longer waits and remain fully committed to working with our partners to reduce waiting times as far as is possible.

"At the same time, we will not compromise the essential checks we carry out at the border which keep our country safe.

"We are making sure Border Force has the resources it needs and are deploying 200 additional staff at Heathrow over the summer."

 

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One advantage we do have in Canada/US which helps avoid any contact and expedites the process are the kiosks which have been added over the last few years. Working airline crews still line up and I spent 90 mins at SFO last summer with several foreign carriers arriving at the same time and only one US customs officer on duty. Never bothered to get a NEXUS pass which was a mistake. 

In comparison I had a cargo flight into Milan/MXP a few years ago and after we got dropped off at the cargo customs building the officer on duty never lifted his head from his iPhone as we walked by his kiosk. I kept looking sideways to see I’d get some kind of a nod or acknowledgement but nothing. Welcome to the EU.

Edited by blues deville
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4 hours ago, blues deville said:

 the officer on duty never lifted his head from his iPhone as we walked by his kiosk

I'm glad our CBSA officers do their job with professionalism.

As far as the RAF situation that Fido mentions goes, the officer's job is to ask the questions. If they didn't do the basics, and one of the boys committed a crime in Canada and had a criminal record or something, the officer would be reprimanded. In asking the questions, they can sometimes determine if someone is nervous or sketchy. Especially an "old", experienced officer.

Many police officers have the same type of attitude as your experience with CBSA.  Some much worse. Does that mean that they shouldn't carry a gun? In my 38 years of flying, I may have had one or two experiences like yours, but I just wrote it off to a bad day. Most of the time, they are courteous and accommodating. The way customs officers are treated by travellers and the boredom of their job, I might snap at the occasional person, too. Especially if they had an attitude.

While airports are generally safe places, a person in secondary may have been cleared by security, but their checked bag may contain a gun (which could be easy for them to retrieve as they picked up their bag... remember Fort Lauderdale?). CBSA officers are the only uniformed people normally in that area and would become immediate targets, especially in secondary. In addition, they are properly trained to shoot to kill if someone decided to start randomly firing off a gun in the baggage area or secondary. As the NRA says, just having an armed person in the area is a deterrent. I disagree with the NRA position with respect to armed civilians, but CBSA officers are well trained and have full legal authority to use their weapons throughout Canada.

I think they should carry the same equipment whether they are at a land or air border crossing.

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I don't doubt that, Rich.

But I would suggest that very few, even Officers in Her Majesty’s not so secret service, have had had the opportunity to discharge a firearm in an arrivals hall full of people. So everybody is a rookie at it. Gun training at CBSA is equivalent to police gun training.

But if there's a maniac in there firing at will, I'm sure there would be many very happy people and their families if an armed member of Public Safety Canada (the same department that oversees the RCMP) is able to stop him early in the process. 

This is notwithstanding the importance of self defence if someone pulls a loaded gun out of their bag while they are being inspected in secondary.

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The debate about guns in general still has me leaning against the further arming of this group. Most airport based agents meet deplaning passengers who should only have their screened carry on baggage. However, land based border guards inspect a continuous stream of foreign travellers in vehicles which could expose them to all kinds of risks so I do understand this side of their argument.

While I agree with the statement that most CBSA members are professionals and fully understand the importance of their job I also expect the same level of respect especially when on duty as a flight crew member. I will never forget being “randomly” sent to secondary at YYZ’s T3 after a long multi day pairing. They ripped apart my suitcase jammed with a weeks worth of dirty clothes and then left it for me to re-pack. The crew bus was long gone and then I heard my above posted “You airline people are the worst for smuggling”. Meanwhile, a non-airline employee traveller beside me was unloading all kinds of undeclared items and by the sound of things was in serious trouble.

 

 

Edited by blues deville
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Just a sec. This discussion is now about arming Cdn border agents? Please, God....no!!

When entering Canada at a land border crossing in Detroit or Port Huron, the agent will be seated in a full enclosure with a sliding window. Your vehicle is in a restricted laneway. OPP are stationed nearby. The agent does NOT need a sidearm. The public does NOT need the " protection" afforded by an armed agent.

Okay....line up on the right if you also believe we ought to begin arming teachers because of the possibility of a mass classroom shooting. After all....that happened in the US just as did the shooting in FLL !!! 

Some try to make it so and Lord knows Toronto is now in the throes but as of yet, Canada is not the US....let that remain so.

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19 minutes ago, UpperDeck said:

Just a sec. This discussion is now about arming Cdn border agents? Please, God....no!!

When entering Canada at a land border crossing in Detroit or Port Huron, the agent will be seated in a full enclosure with a sliding window. Your vehicle is in a restricted laneway. OPP are stationed nearby. The agent does NOT need a sidearm. The public does NOT need the " protection" afforded by an armed agent.

Okay....line up on the right if you also believe we ought to begin arming teachers because of the possibility of a mass classroom shooting. After all....that happened in the US just as did the shooting in FLL !!! 

Some try to make it so and Lord knows Toronto is now in the throes but as of yet, Canada is not the US....let that remain so.

I believe our border guards (customs etc) have been armed since 2007. This discussion is all about extending this to those working at our airports.

Quote

Executive summary

Project description

The 10-year Arming Initiative was approved by the Government of Canada to enhance border security and improve officers' ability to pursue enforcement activities and handle and mitigate high-risk situations by equipping designated frontline personnel with a duty firearm and associated training. In turn, this provided officers with a broader range of intervention options with which to respond to dangerous situations and conduct enforcement activities.

Evaluation purpose, scope and methodology

The evaluation presented herein is a requirement of the approved Arming Initiative Treasury Board submission. The purpose of this evaluation is to examine the performance (effectiveness, efficiency and economy) of the Arming Initiative. This includes the extent to which the arming of CBSA officers achieved expected outcomes, such as enhanced border security, improved officer ability to handle high-risk situations, and decreased Agency reliance on other law enforcement organizations. The evaluation does not include relevance questions.

The evaluation covers the 10-year implementation of the Arming Initiative (from March 2006 to March 2016), as well as its impacts thereafter, and builds on the 2009 Evaluation of Arming and the 2015 Audit of Arming. The scope of the evaluation includes the arming of frontline personnel at land ports of entry and in the Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Directorate and marine contexts.

The evaluation was conducted from FY 2016-2017 to FY 2017-2018 and included both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The evaluation team conducted interviews within the CBSA and with external stakeholders, analyzed program performance and financial data, reviewed key documentation, and conducted field research in three regions (Prairie, Quebec and Southern Ontario) between February and March 2017.

Findings and recommendations

Design and delivery

Over the course of the implementation of the Arming Initiative, discernible and continuous improvements were made to arming training (i.e. the triennial recertification), and arming training programs are well-regarded (i.e. the Duty Firearm Course, the annual recertification and the triennial recertification). However, a notable decline was observed in Skills Enhancement Course pass rates and there was an indication that participation in off-duty practice and the consumption of available practice ammunition rounds is low.

Achievement of outcomes

Enhanced officer ability to conduct enforcement activities and respond to high-risk situations

The Arming Initiative and Use of Force training have enhanced officers' ability to exercise their authorities by increasing their confidence, preparation, and the ability to assess safety risks and to respond to high-risk situations.

Increased border intervention

The Arming Initiative has had a positive impact on border security through increased border intervention timeliness and response to a wider spectrum of threats. This was found to be most evident in the change in procedure surrounding the handling of armed and dangerous individuals at the port of entry. Prior to Arming, subjects of an armed and dangerous lookout were dealt with through a 'release and notify' process (release into Canada and notify the police for subsequent interception), with response times dependent on the proximity and availability of other law enforcement organizations. As a result of Arming, the CBSA provides a more immediate response, as armed and dangerous individuals are now intercepted at the border. Furthermore, work refusal data suggested that officers no longer raise safety concerns with regards to the handling of armed and dangerous individuals, as a result of Arming.

Reduced reliance on other law enforcement

The evaluation found evidence to suggest that the CBSA has reduced its reliance on other law enforcement organizations, in specific contexts and regions, and now plays a more significant and active role in the enforcement community as a result of their enhanced risk assessment and preparedness following the implementation of Arming.Footnote 1 This is most notable in the handling of armed and dangerous individuals and in the increased autonomy of Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Directorate officers in conducting certain enforcement activities.

Ongoing challenges of the steady-state program

A number of ongoing challenges associated with Arming, as a steady-state program, were identified. These included certain operational and human resources challenges and costs related to, for example, officers accommodated as a result of not meeting the new requirements of their now armed positions, mental health supports, the understanding and application of certain policies, the ergonomic implications of the defensive equipment, and recruitment and training.

Demonstration of efficiency and economy

Efficiency and utilization of financial and human resources

The Arming Initiative was implemented as intended, targets to train and arm the frontline workforce were achieved within the timeline and under the original budget, and the Agency's relationship with other law enforcement (i.e. the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) was effectively leveraged. By March 2016, the conclusion of the Arming Initiative, over 6,492 officers had been trained and armed, exceeding the initial target of 4,800. In addition, this target was exceeded under budget, with a budget variance between planned ($785M) and actual ($694M) expenditures of -12%, as of April 2016.

Arming governance and management was shifted and modified during the implementation of the Arming Initiative to improve delivery and to help ensure objectives were met. This was cited as an important contributor to the Agency's increased training rate during the latter half of the Initiative, as well as its ability to surpass original training targets. Many formal governance mechanisms have since dissolved and have been replaced with the "one HR" approach to address ongoing policy and human resources issues.

Opportunities to more economically or efficiently arm cbsa frontline personnel

With Arming integrated into regular CBSA operations, opportunities for improved economy and efficiency related to training and recertification have been identified. This includes greater local/regional delivery of certain recertification training to reduce travel costs and increase convenience for officers, enhanced partnerships with other law enforcement organizations to further facilitate the sharing of resources, and the continued evolution of the Use of Force training with consideration for the CBSA operational environment.

Recommendations

To address ongoing challenges associated with the steady-state of Arming and to provide opportunities to more economically/efficiently arm CBSA frontline personnel, the evaluation made five recommendations:

  1. The Vice-President of HRB, in consultation with the Vice-President of Operations, should implement the current phase of the Workforce StrategyFootnote 2 to mitigate the impacts of arming-related accommodations on frontline service delivery.
  2. The Vice-President of HRB, in consultation with the Vice-President of Operations, should enhance the understanding and application of the existing policy on the wearing and handling of the protective and defensive equipment in all modes.
  3. As outlined in the Agency's Strategy to Support Mental Health, the Vice-President of HRB should:
    1. Implement tools to support managers and employees working in an armed environment.
    2. Implement training initiatives related to officers' awareness and knowledge of the mental health of clients.
  4. The Vice-President of HRB, in consultation with the Vice-President of Operations, should complete the assessment of the uniform and duty equipment as a self-defence system, with consideration for ergonomic issues, to ensure that operational needs are met.
  5. The Vice-President of HRB should assess firearm training and skills maintenance, including qualification requirements, to ensure that operational needs are met.

https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/agency-agence/reports-rapports/ae-ve/2017/arm-arme-eng.html

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Disagree with your comment about the OPP being stationed nearby, UD. I would estimate it would take the police at least 15-20 mins on a good day to arrive at the Thousand Islands Bridge.

I think the CBSA should be armed....there is an increasing level of smuggling (human, guns etc) that requires force be met with force. From my understanding, not all cbsa officers are required to do firearms training. But if I was doing this job, you bet I’d want to be armed. The farce at Roxham road is another debate.

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5 minutes ago, AIP said:

At Airports, CBSA agents wear kevlar vests.

in a supposed secure area, what for ???

What am I missing ???

I guess because the so called secure area isn't really secure when passengers have access to their checked baggage and could avail themselves of a weapon.

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28 minutes ago, Trader said:

Guessing it also comes down to pay - if you are armed you can demand a higher salary. Do CBSA's in airports earn leass than at land crossings due to carrying a weapon.

Mini tangent....bear with me..

We have Wardens in the 1000 Islands Park for years

They did not carry weapons

The wardens in BC carry weapons for self defence from Bears etc and thus their pay is higher

1000 Islands Wardens wanted guns....and the higher pay.......they were to receive them

They all took the gun training classes

They all failed

That year...no Wardens with weapons and saw a warden once in my 4 months in the Islands

Some new Wardens took the class

They now carry handguns...for defence against......... ticks,  angry Muskies, and the odd wicked mosquito ???

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21 minutes ago, Kip Powick said:

They now carry handguns...for defence against......... ticks,  angry Muskies, and the odd wicked mosquito ???

Forget about the muskies but if you can shoot a tick or mosquito you probably do deserve the bump in pay. :) 

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1 hour ago, conehead said:

Naw, the mosquitoes are so big out there, it’s like bringing down a duck! :)

Okay then. So forget about the muskies, and the really big mosquitoes but what about those ticks? :)

Edited by blues deville
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"they are properly trained to shoot to kill if someone decided to start randomly firing off a gun in the baggage area or secondary "

"CBSA officers are well trained and have full legal authority to use their weapons throughout Canada."

The CBSA officers are not well trained, just 'qualified'.

Arming these people just ups the ante imo. If the bad guy knows the good guy is armed he's likely to come prepared to deal with the threat to his plan. All considered, the gun probably places the officer at a general disadvantage.

   

 

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Quote

FArming these people just ups the ante imo. If the bad guy knows the good guy is armed he's likely to come prepared to deal with the threat to his plan. All considered, the gun probably places the officer at a general disadvantage.

Again, imo things have changed....the criminal today is armed and ready to shoot to kill for whatever gain he chooses....

And Kip...are you aware of the RCMP van that is stationed at land points in the islands doing drone surveillance???? Things have changed...

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I am corrected by both malcolm....and my golfing partners. This morning I mentioned this forum discussion to the group and was somewhat rudely reminded that my head was somewhere other than on my shoulders. They said without doubt or hesitation that our land border agents have been armed for a number of years ( since 2007 according to malcolm). And...as suggested by another poster....I was informed that the demand for guns was to place the agents on the same wage level as police. The argument was safety...the reason was economic.

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3 hours ago, st27 said:

Again, imo things have changed....the criminal today is armed and ready to shoot to kill for whatever gain he chooses....

And Kip...are you aware of the RCMP van that is stationed at land points in the islands doing drone surveillance???? Things have changed...

Never made the islands this year....have not seen the RCMP

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