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Thread: CBP Officer (Pre-Employment Process)

  1. #1
    Wolf's Avatar
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    CBP Officer (Pre-Employment Process)

    Hello! I'm a long time reader of CBP forums, however, I've never really participated in the discussions.

    Hopefully, more and more people can realize, like I have, that the best way to learn is by participating! This way we can have more intelligent contributions and a broader understanding of the CBP Officer Pre-Employment Hiring Process!

    Ok, so enough of that-lol Here's my question:

    I applied for the South Eastern States and took the written test in Atlanta. I received my NOR and turns out I passed with a 90, thank God!

    I have yet to receive a TO (still waiting).

    Yesterday, the MHC emails me. In the email they are almost imploring me to change my Geo Preference to the South Western States, saying they are in "critical" need of applicants for the southwest. Also, they wrote that "Hiring for CBP Officers is mainly anticipated along the southwest border only."

    Seems like the words "mainly" and "only" are almost contradicting each other but I assume that they are just trying to do their part and get as many applicants to transfer to the southwest as they can.

    In the email the MHC names the places that are in need of CBP Officers:

    "Laredo, El Paso, Fabens, Brownsville, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Pharr, Progresso, Presidio, Rio Grande City, and Roma, Texas;

    Andrade, Calexico, Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, Tecate, and San Bernardino, California;

    Arizona, and New Mexico."

    I was born in Brazil and raised in Miami. I heard Texas is not for everyone. I'm very interested in California. I heard it is very nice and I have family there.

    I am also interested in which of those places you guys think are good to work at and why.

    Thanks and Happy Holidays!

  2. #2
    Rubbish is offline Cadet
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    Hi Wolf,

    I worked for US Customs back in 2000 and 2001 and faced a similar decision. I am from NYC and had applied for NE region. Customs called me and offered me an immediate position on the SW border, or an indefinite wait for the NE.

    I was offered Brownsville, Laredo, Eagle Pass, Nogales and San Ysidro. Thinking that bordertown life was not for me (coming from the big city) I accepted the spot in San Ysidro (San Diego really).

    San Ysidro is a great place to work, if you are looking to be busy. Marijuana, cocaine, heroin, meth by the pounds. All sorts of illegal immigration (runners, impostors, fake docs). Police enforcement: lots of stolen cars, people coming across with warrants, guns in cars (and sometimes on people). Close work with Border Patrol, San Diego Police and Sherrif, CHP. I think the work there is more "Law Enforcement" oriented than you will find in most land ports and all airports. I had handcuffs on someone, for one reason or another, nearly every day.

    Aside from work, San Diego is one of the greatest places to live. It can seem expensive to some, but coming from Miami, you are probably used to spending a little bit more than middle America does on housing. Beaches, 80 degrees all year round, nice downtown area with parks, good food (big Mexican, Chinese and Vietnamese communities). Plus SD is a big military town, which brings in people from all over the country.

    Otay Mesa is the San Ysidro cargo port, and is still very close to SD. Calexico is way out in the desert, about 2 hours from SD. You would basically have to live there to work there, and I never heard good things about it.

    I have friends from the USCS academy who went to the border towns in TX and AZ. They did not like it. Not trying to knock TX or AZ, but I think it would be a culture shock for someone from Miami. Basically living in a small town where everyone knows you are a Fed. Not good for personal or family security.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
    SQL likes this.

  3. #3
    Wolf's Avatar
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    Rubbish, thanks for the information and quick response!

    Just out of curiosity, around how quick did you get the job at San Ysidro from phoned offer - TO and from TO - EOD? I know things have changed since DHS but I have one more semester to finish my BS in Criminal Justice and am actually hoping that if I accept the offer for the SW border I wont get my EOD at least until summer. And you said you worked for USCS only on 2000 and 2001? That's a pretty short amount of time to work for Customs! Tell me, did you join another agency? Also, you might be right about the culture shock thing. I am dying to get away from Miami traffic but I'm used to the big cities. And yes, the danger of everyone knowing my profession has crossed my mind before.

  4. #4
    Rubbish is offline Cadet
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    Wolf,
    The call I got was to offer me a position, not just to suggest that I change my location preference. I think I started at the academy about a month and a half later. If they offer you a position, they have a hiring window with several EOD dates (usually ranging within 2 months). You can request one of the later dates.

    With regard to my length of service, yes I was hired by another federal agency and moved back to the east coast.

  5. #5
    Wolf's Avatar
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    Thanks Rubbish.

    In the email I received it says that if I want to change my preference: "Please be sure to include your name, last 4 digits of your SSN, location preference and any changes to your contact information." Does this mean that I can already choose my prefered location within the SW border? (Just being hopeful) lol

    Also, if I get a TO, and it's for one of the locations that I don't want, what happens if I do not accept the TO? Is that the end of my application? Will I have to apply for another year?

  6. #6
    Rubbish is offline Cadet
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    Sorry Wolf, I'm no expert on the hiring process, but when Human Resources gets the green light, they call the people at the top of the list and offer them the available locations.

    If you accept, boom, you are hired. If you do not accept that posting, you are still on the list, for as long as they are still hiring under your vacancy announcement.

    If they fill all the slots before they get around to calling you back, then you are out of luck. You would have to reapply at that point.

    If you get a call, it will probably say, we are currently filling positions in these six ports. If you say no to all of them (the HR people are reasonable and will give you a few days to think about it if you ask), then they will say we dont know when X region or Y port will be filling positions, but we will keep you in mind.

    You can try to gamble on getting your #1 preferred port (maybe Miami or Ft Lauderdale in your case) but remember that you might lose out.

  7. #7
    Wolf's Avatar
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    So they usually give you the option to choose within a few ports? Is it always 6? Sorry, I am a bit confused.

  8. #8
    Rubbish is offline Cadet
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    Like I said, I am no expert on internal hiring processes. When you get the call, it will probably be something like "We are currently filling positions in the following duty locations" (1, 5, 10, 20 ... who knows how many).

    If you accept the posting, you are in. If you do not, they will say "OK, we will call you when your PREFERRED location is hiring."

    Keep in mind that that second call might never come. If you are eager to work for CBP or in federal law enforcement, most people will suggest you jump on the first opportunity. Once you are in you can always try to apply for another position within your agency, or to another agency.

    Of course, personal considerations (like moving across the country) are something only you can weigh.

  9. #9
    Wolf's Avatar
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    Awesome. Now I understand. I have no problem moving across the country, it's just that you made San Diego sound very nice.

  10. #10
    FederalCO is offline Rookie
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    Locations on the swb are not all bad places to live. It can be a culture shock though moving from a large city to a smaller town. I moved from Kansas City to a small town near the swb. While it is very different, I made the personal decision to do this because I wanted a career change. Also I have a major city less than 1.5 hours away where I can get whatever I need and have plenty of social activities.

  11. #11
    Wolf's Avatar
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    Fed, what port did/are you currently working for, if I may ask? Do you enjoy it there? Tell me a little more about the pros and cons about living/working there. Also, how dangerous do you feel the SWB is? Although I'm willing to move pretty much anywhere I do plan on coming home alive.

    Does anyone know around how many CBP officers die job related deaths each year? I've searched on google, but I could not find an answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf View Post

    Does anyone know around how many CBP officers die job related deaths each year? I've searched on google, but I could not find an answer.
    http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/about/in_...riam_names.xml
    GatorFutureSA
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  13. #13
    Wolf's Avatar
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    Thanks Gator! I just went through a few of the names. Lots of freak accidents and car crashes. I didn't see too many deaths resulting from work at the port for CBP Officers.

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    FederalCO is offline Rookie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
    Fed, what port did/are you currently working for, if I may ask? Do you enjoy it there? Tell me a little more about the pros and cons about living/working there. Also, how dangerous do you feel the SWB is? Although I'm willing to move pretty much anywhere I do plan on coming home alive.
    I forgot to mention that I am a BPA in my post above, sorry I can't provide any useful info on the CBPO job. I can comment though that I work in the Tucson sector and I honestly don't feel that the area is anywhere near as dangerous as the city I left behind (Kansas City).

    Does anyone know around how many CBP officers die job related deaths each year? I've searched on google, but I could not find an answer.
    Keep in mind that this is LE work and it is much more dangerous than the average office job. While being a CBPO might not be as dangerous as being a BPA, keep in mind that you will come across dangerous situations and people and you will have to respond. If you don't think you will be able to handle that, I suggest you look into different work.

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    GeneralSnus is offline Cadet
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
    Thanks Gator! I just went through a few of the names. Lots of freak accidents and car crashes. I didn't see too many deaths resulting from work at the port for CBP Officers.

    In the recent past, traffic-related fatalities have been the top cause of line-of-duty deaths among LEOs.
    Last edited by GeneralSnus; 12-26-2011 at 09:37.


 
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