DHS personnel increase moves ahead | fedweek.com

Newly offered legislation (S-2314) in the Senate would require the CBP to hire at least 500 additional officers per year until meeting the target set by its staffing analysis.

According to CBP’s current analysis, the agency needs approximately 3,600 more CBP officers at ports of entry, said an announcement from sponsor Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., the ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. There are about 1,200 current vacancies, while the remainder represents new positions that would be needed in addition, under that staffing model.

“CBP right now is plagued by low morale, excessive overtime shifts, long duty assignments far from home, increasingly dangerous working conditions and intense pressure to do more work with fewer people,” said Tony Reardon, president of the NTEU union that represents customs officers.

The agency’s staffing shortage and difficulties in hiring have been the subject of numerous studies, congressional hearings and prior legislative proposals.