Although the OIC is still in its infancy, CBP brass already consider the integration center a success story. “This level of personnel and technology integration and cooperation serves as a model for technology deployments on the northern border,” Kostelnik told members of Congress in July. And because most of the OIC’s capability comes from commercial off-the-shelf technologies, says Arrington, it will be easy to duplicate its functionality in other sectors.
This cooperation, plus the drones and remotely stationed agents, shows that the CBP is concentrating more attention on its northern responsibilities. Even Rep. Miller agrees that CBP and border patrol, especially with the opening of the OIC and the increasing use of border surveillance drones, have begun to plug the vulnerabilities that most concern her. “It looks like everybody knew what we needed to do, and now we’re starting to do it in some areas,” Miller tells Security Management.
“When people say we directed our attention just to the southern border and turned our backs to the northern border, that’s actually not accurate,” says former CBP Commissioner Basham. It’s just that the strategy is different.
Only time will tell whether the agency’s chosen approach is the right one for the region.