SPOKANE, Wash. - More than 300 miles of U.S. border fall within the Spokane Sector - large area the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol are tasked to protect. In the sky, on horseback, and on boat, they protect this country from violent criminals, dangerous drugs and terrorism.
If you think that's all they, do you'd be wrong. I was lucky enough to get a small taste of what that job entails. I got a chance to try out a very valuable piece of equipment: the VirTra 300 degree training simulator. It's a facility in Hillyard that they share with Spokane Police. The split second decisions they have to make are anything but easy.
"That's the key, it's to apply the greatest level of reality we can to our training environment in a controlled situation," said Spokane Sector Acting Chief Dave BeMiller.
VirTra is a wonder of modern tech that runs agents through hundreds of different scenarios. From target practice to unthinkable situations I'd rather not describe in detail.
"Ultimately we want to end the situation peacefully and take the person into custody if necessary," said BeMiller
The U.S. Border Patrol is looking to hire thousands of agents across the country. BeMiller described what he thinks makes a good law enforcement officer.
"Command presence and your ability to communicate, to use proper judgment in crisis situations,"
Border Patrol training includes a 157 day academy followed by a probationary period. But, if I learned anything from these gentlemen, it's that their training never ends. Also, they have a pretty cool job.
"It has been an honor for me to point to the mountain and say 'that's my office'. We have ATV's, horses, canines, boat patrol; a variety of tools that we use in the field," said BeMiller.
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