WASHINGTON -

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh (jay) Johnson is reviewing the department's use of force policies.

A Homeland Security official says that since taking office in December Johnson has been reviewing policies about when Border Patrol agents can use deadly force. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

Civil rights groups have criticized the department for allowing agents to use deadly force against people who throw rocks at them.

The government commissioned the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum to review the agency's force policy. Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher told The Associated Press last year that the forum recommended Customs and Border Protection prohibit deadly force against rock throwers and assailants in vehicles. CBP rejected the recommendations.