What to Expect at the Border Patrol Academy
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Finally, you received the good news: You got through the rigorous screening process and received an
offer of employment to work for the border patrol. Your next stop is the CBP Border Patrol Academy
in Artesia, N.M. This is where all newly-hired border patrol agents get honed on their basic law
enforcement skills. What can you expect at your time in the border patrol academy? Read on to find
All border patrol agent interns are required to spend 55 days in the border patrol academy. In this
facility, all interns will be given instruction on such topics as integrated law, firearms and driving.
Physical training will also be included in the challenging curriculum at this facility. Agent interns who
are not Spanish speakers or those who do not consider themselves fluent in the language will need to
complete a 40-day Task Based Language Training Program after the 55-day training program. Proficiency
in the Spanish language is given primary importance in the border patrol academy because more
than 90 percent of the undocumented aliens caught year after year speak only Spanish. Ensuring that
all border patrol agents communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking illegal entrants is vital to the
successful performance of the job.
Nationality Law, Immigration Law, Applied Authority and Operations 1 and 2 are the operations courses
taught at the border patrol academy. These courses basically teach interns how to determine the
nationality of a person being questioned, how to classify them, check their status, determine violations
and proceed with the proper course of action. The lessons taught in Applied Authority will teach them
primary statutes, implementing rules and regulations and past court decisions from which an agent's
authority emanates. Hands-on training is given in Operations 1 and 2 so that the agent interns can
transfer their theoretical learning to practical real-life situations.
Range safety, techniques for survival shooting, judgment pistol shooting, quick point and instinctive
reaction shooting using a particular brand of handguns, shotguns and carbine rifles are offered in the
Firearms Training at border patrol academy.
The Physical Techniques Program trains border patrol agent interns to correctly respond to dangerous
situations and obstacles so that injury to himself, other agents and innocent parties are minimized. The
course aims to instill in each agent confidence in his or her physical abilities while keeping him or her
aware of his or her limitations. Since agents are often on their own when responding to threats from
the country's borders, the importance of physical fitness even after leaving the academy is emphasized.
A two-hour test that measures a student's ability to perform physical techniques must be passed by all
interns so they can graduate from the border patrol academy. The timed events include the 1 ｽ Mile
Run which must be finished in no more than 13 minutes, the Confidence Course in 2 ｽ minutes and the
220 Yard Dash which must be done in 46 seconds or less.
Finally, the Driver Training Program teaches agents how to safely operate vehicles under extreme
conditions. To graduate from the course, interns must successfully complete training in Van/Utility
Vehicle Operation, Skid Control and Emergency Response. Advanced instruction will also be given in
Pursuit Driving, Vehicle Stops, Night Driving, 4x4 Off Road Driving and SUV/Van Evasive Driving will be given after the intern has completed the pass/fail portion of the Driving Training Program at the border
If you haven't already taken the Border Patrol Exam, then you should get the Border Patrol Exam Study Guide as it makes the hiring process faster and easier.