Magazine article National Defense

Border Patrol Reaching out to Fill 6,000 Slots

Magazine article National Defense

Border Patrol Reaching out to Fill 6,000 Slots

Article excerpt

BORDER PATROL RECRUITERS have a tough job ahead of them. The goal spelled out by President Bush is to double their ranks by the end of 2008. That means filling 6,000 new slots if Congress comes through with the funding.

Francisco Lopez Jr., assistant chief of the Border Patrol for recruitment, said roughly 1,300 positions had been filled by the end of the first quarter Of fiscal year 2007. And they have more than 15,000 applications to wade through. That may sound like a lot, but only one in 25 completes the process, he told National Defense.

A second presidential initiative, the deployment of National Guard personnel to shore up the border, may end up being a recruiting boon, he said.

"National Guard personnel are excellent candidates," Lopez said. "You can't talk about recruitment without talking about retention." Guard members serving on the borders have had an up-close look at how the agency operates as well as a chance to know the regions and cultures. …

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