U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Progress and Challenges in Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Law Enforcement Personnel

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for securing U.S. borders and employs nearly 45,000 law enforcement officers across its three operational components at and between U.S. ports of entry, in the air and maritime environment, and at certain overseas locations. In recent years, CBP has not attained target staffing levels for its law enforcement positions, citing high attrition rates in some locations, a protracted hiring process, and competition from other law enforcement agencies. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to review CBP’s efforts to recruit, hire, and retain law enforcement personnel. This report examines CBP’s efforts to (1) recruit qualified law enforcement officers, (2) more efficiently hire law enforcement applicants, and (3) retain law enforcement officers. GAO analyzed CBP data on recruitment, hiring, and retention from FY 2013 through 2017, as well as selected data for the first two quarters of FY 2018. GAO also reviewed CBP strategies and the recent contract it awarded to augment its recruiting and hiring activities and interviewed officials from CBP and three other selected law enforcement agencies. GAO recommends that CBP systematically collect and analyze data on departing law enforcement officers and use this information to inform retention efforts. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) concurred with this recommendation.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 72p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01675090
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-18-487
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 27 2018 1:39PM