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DynCorp wants to patrol U.S. borders Print
By STEPHEN LOSEY - June 19, 2007

A contractor is seeking Congress’ approval to let it work alongside Border Patrol agents in securing the border.
Robert Rosenkranz, president of DynCorp International’s government services division, today told the House Homeland Security subcommittee on management, investigations and oversight that it could provide 1,000 private agents in about 13 months to augment the Border Patrol. Rosenkranz said his contractors would be former police officers who are trained in the appropriate use of force and who know how to work with local law enforcement.

Since DynCorp border contractors would already have police experience, Rosenkranz said they could be trained faster than Border Patrol agents. Border Patrol agents now receive about 10 months of classroom and on-the-job training.

But DynCorp’s proposal drew a cool reaction from Border Patrol officials and subcommittee Chairman Christopher Carney, D-Pa. Carney pointed out that DynCorp, working under a State Department contract, recently recruited 54 Border Patrol agents to advise and train Iraqi border guards.

 “This appears like you’re using one government contract to create product for another government contract,” Carney said.
T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said DynCorp’s plan to set up a dual structure of private and federal border agents would be a mistake and an “invitation to disaster.” And Border Patrol spokesman Xavier Rios said that while the agency does contract out some services, such as transporting detained aliens, the agency was not considering using contractors to patrol borders.

“There is no better person to do the job of securing the border than a fully trained Border Patrol agent,” Rios said.
But Mike Rogers of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the subcommittee, said Rosenkranz’s idea should be considered. Rogers said that the Homeland Security Department’s plan to boost the Border Patrol’s ranks by 3,000 in fiscal 2008 — leaving it with about 18,000 agents — will not be enough to secure the border, and that security contractors such as DynCorp and Blackwater could help provide more manpower.
Rogers expressed frustration with the department’s reluctance to consider such ideas.

“One of the reasons that I think it won’t happen is because it would work,” Rogers said.
 
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