Former CBP commissioner on agent killed in shootout

Border Report

(NewsNation) — As the investigation continues into the suspected smuggler who authorities say was involved in a shootout that killed a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent Thursday off the Puerto Rico coast, many are questioning if CBP border agents are facing increased threats.

Ronald Vitiello, a former acting deputy commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said these agents take enormous risks to protect the U.S.

“This is part and parcel of what they do. They’re trying to protect our borders, our homeland, interdict drugs at sea, and unfortunately, sometimes these kinds of things happen,” Vitiello said.

Vitello said this incident isn’t a wake-up call for the dangers that CBP agents are facing; he said these agents are highly skilled and are aware of the risks.

“They’re very good at what they do; they take these risks knowing that this is out there,” he said. “More resources, more tools of focus on controlling the border and stopping the smuggling of drugs, reducing the demand in the United States. So these agents are fully well aware of the risks that they take. But this is a reminder to the public, how they sacrifice for us.”

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