Former CBP officer gives insight into bridge shutdown

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LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - With the sudden shutdown of the Brownsville port of entry due to the large group at the bridge, KGNS reached out to a former Customs and Border Protection officer on the matter.

"There were times when people would try to run the port, and every port of entry has its own procedure on how they approach these things,” said William Young, a retired Customs and Border Protection officer.

According to him, those entering the Border Patrol agency are taught special tactics at the academy.

"Now they have a lot more. The training, the procedures have stepped up to a higher level."

On operations that help when large groups present themselves at the international bridges, Young said, "Crowd control, you're mainly taught the same way as the National Guard is, but you are going to stand your ground and you're going to use your batons if you have to."

According to the former officer, the main objective is to deescalate any type of situations.

"But you are trained to take people down in a humane way."

Throughout this year, CBP has conducted several drills in order to train for events similar to what happened in Brownsville, but Young says during his time at the ports he rarely went beyond exercises.

"We never had to use them when I was there. We never had these types of events."

After being closed the majority of the day, Brownsville’s Gateway International Bridge reopened at around 4 p.m.