Although Florida borders Alabama and Georgia on the north, it faces the Gulf of Mexico on the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south. Florida’s 1,350-mile coastline is the second longest in the nation and a very busy place for border patrol agents, and marine and air interdiction officers with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
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Florida’s six CBP stations include 23 ports of entry and a wide variety of landscapes, including large and small cities/towns, agricultural land, rivers, lakes, beaches, inlets, marshes, swampland and the Florida Keys, a 220-mile-long chain of 800 small islands (40 inhabited) connected to the mainland by the Overseas Highway that incorporates 45 bridges, including one seven miles long. This has made marine and air interdiction officer jobs extremely important to preventing border crimes in these areas.
Types of Border Patrol Stations and Jobs in Florida
In 1925, Florida’s first border patrol station opened in Jacksonville as a response to the large number of illegal migrants being smuggled into the state from Cuba. Since then the number and functions of border patrol agents has increased dramatically. According to “Politifact.com,” there are currently 21,000 CBP agents/officers nationwide, twice the number there were in 2004. Many of these agents/officers are operating at Florida’s international and small airports, commercial seaports, cruise liner ports and all manner of small water landings. This diversity requires an equally diverse workforce. Border patrol jobs and U.S. Customs careers in Florida include:
- Border Patrol Agents
- CBP Officers
- Agricultural Specialists
- Import/Export Specialists
- Air and Marine Interdiction Officers
- Support Personnel
Border Patrol Job Requirements
The CBP is looking for reliable, trustworthy and fit individuals who want to prevent terrorists, smugglers and undocumented aliens from entering the U.S.
Applicants for Agent positions must be U.S. citizens under the age of 40 (some veteran exceptions), physically fit, drug free, in possession of a valid driver’s license and able to pass medical and entry tests. A background investigation is undertaken to eliminate persons with a history of criminal behavior/arrests, excessive alcohol use, illegal drug use, financial problems or job firings with cause.
In addition to these requirements, applicants for GS-5 Officer positions must have three years experience in an appropriate job or a relevant bachelor’s degree All new recruits must attend a 58-day basic training academy in New Mexico.
A Proud and Heroic Force
The proud and heroic members of the Florida CBP have been keeping this country safe since 1925.In 2011, the Miami sector was responsible for 4,401 apprehensions and the confiscation of 564.05 pounds of marijuana.
CBP agents/officers are always ready when called upon. In 1961, in response to hijackings by Cuban dissidents, Pres. John F. Kennedy asked the Florida border patrol to serve as the nation’s first air marshals. Between August and October of that year, 50 border patrol agents flew on 92 flights a day without a single hijacking incident, living up to the border patrol’s motto, “Honor First.”
Floridians who would like to join this noble force should apply online for a date to take the entrance test that is the first step in the recruitment process. Helpful guides for taking the test are available.