border security officer Duties, responsibilities & threats


The border security officer involves the protection of the country’s interests and society. We will learn about the land border security operation in this post today. If you want to know more about the country’s other security parameters against external threats, please visit the following section.

Land border security threats;

  • People or groups who wish to harm the nation
    • Terrorists
    • Political activists
    • Criminals
  • Smuggling 
    • Illegal or prohibited item trafficking
    • Counterfeit goods
  • Unauthorized migrants
    • Seeking a new life
    • Running from trouble
    • May bring anti-social behaviors into the society
  •  Threats to the border checkpoint
    • Explosive events e.g. bomb threats and IEDs
    • Armed attack
    • Hostage-taking
    • Unarmed violence e.g. physical assault

Land border security hazards;

  • Environmental exposure at outdoor inspection points;
    • Sunburn
    • Heatstroke
    • Dehydration
    • Sand and dust
  • Vehicles and traffic 
    • Impact and crush injuries
    • Pinching or cutting off hands while performing search duties
    • Noise exposure
    • Fumes and gas inhalation
  • Biological hazards;
    • Interaction with animals and animal waste
    • Agricultural products and materials
    • People immigrating across the border may carry illness or infection
  • Fuel, oil and flammable liquids stored on-site 
  • Radiation exposure through X-Ray inspection

Systems of security control at land borders;

The security staff may deploy on land border operation together with a variety of agencies including, police, customs, and military. Private security firms play a supporting role for the government agencies involved in protecting the country’s borders.

As the border security officer, you should know about the access control zones in the border checkpoints.

The actual procedures to follow depends on the policies and directives for each border crossing point, however, a typical land border crossing point may operate in the following way.

  1. The approach zone 
  2. The access control zone 
  3. The response zone  

The approach zone;

  • Incoming traffic control including;
      • Pedestrians
      • Light vehicles
      • Coaches and buses
      • Cargo transport
  • Coaches, and cargo transport vehicles will divert to heavy vehicle inspection lanes
  • Pedestrians  will direct to proceed toward customs and immigration area
  • Light vehicles will  direct through inspection lanes

The access control zone;

  1. Security screening: 
    • The driver will direct to position their vehicles in the appropriate inspection bay
    • Passengers and other personnel will direct into customs and immigration area
    • Visas, permits, and documentation are inspected or issued by customs officials
    • Men and women may need to separate for personal and belongings search according to policies
  2. Vehicle and cargo inspection:
    • Vehicles are passed through x-ray inspection points if available
    • Cargo is passed through x-ray inspection
    • Luggage and vehicle compartments are searched as required by policy
    • Import or export permits and paperwork is checked for cargo loads
    • Drivers and passengers return to vehicles for onward movement

The response zone;

  • Progression through the border control point:
    • The person who clear the customs and immigration check, collect their belonging from these zones.
    • Vehicles will direct to the response zone from the access control zones.
    • A secondary line of control is available to delay unauthorized access into the country e.g.
      •  Police unit
      • Additional barriers
      • The extended area of empty space allowing police or military intervention before offenders arrive at towns or cities
      • Patrols may be conducted along the borderline to detect unauthorized crossings

Border security officer Duties and responsibilities

Security staff may perform various duties within the system of security control including

  • Traffic control
  • Personnel and vehicle security searches
  • Assisting customs officials
  • Inspecting IDs and documents
  • Preventing unauthorized access to security controlled areas
  • Ensuring personnel and vehicles are matched correctly after screening
  • Controlling all movements of persons in transit within the border control point

Advance Security Course

Basic security course

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