Next CBP citizens’ academy already full, future classes to be held on Olympic Peninsula

Published on Fri, May 4, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

Read More The Lighthouse Blog

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials are planning subsequent citizens’ academies after the one scheduled to start May 15 has already filled up.

The next citizens' academy will start May 15 and run to June 26, but Richard Sinks, CBP supervisory officer and Blaine sector community liaison, has confirmed the seven-week string of classes is already full. Sinks said CBP officials are planning another academy for the Olympic Peninsula and possibly a third for Whatcom County, both before the end of the year.

To date, 65 people have signed up for the citizens’ academy, though each seven-week course can only take between 18 and 20 students, Sinks explained. However, those interested in attending a future class should still get in touch with Sinks so CBP officials can gauge how many more classes to organize.

“The sooner people notify me, the sooner they have a chance to get in,” Sinks said.

Academy attendees will learn about all three branches of the CBP: the Border Patrol, which operates between border crossings; the Office of Field Operations, which operates at the border crossings; and the Office of Air and Marine, which performs air- and sea-born operations. Sinks said each class will focus on one aspect of CBP, and the seven-week course will culminate with a review, test of attendees’ knowledge and graduation ceremony.

Sinks said resident feedback on the first academy, which ran from January 30 to March 12, was generally positive, with many suggestions concerning the classes' start and end times. He said attendees’ reasons for signing up for the classes varied, but stemmed mostly from both a general curiosity about how CBP operates and interests in future employment.

Invariably, some class attendees wanted to discuss various complaints they had with CBP operations, and Sinks said agents teaching the classes were more than happy to provide clarifying or explanatory information in those instances. However, agents avoided addressing specific cases or policy issues.

“We’re always glad to get feedback as far as complaints or other things [the public has] questions about,” Sinks said. “The main thing is we don’t spend time debating public policy.”

For for more information on the course, contact Sinks at 360/332-9255 or To download an application for the academy, click here. Interested residents will be put on a first come, first served waiting list for future academies and must undergo a limited background check prior to being selected.




Inside the Lighthouse

Welcome to the Lighthouse, the official blog of The Northern Light newspaper. The Lighthouse is the place for some breaking news, previews of upcoming articles, smaller news items and some tidbits of local information that might not make it into the print edition of The Northern Light.

The Northern Light reporter Steve Guntli will be the main contributor to The Lighthouse, but other staff from The Northern Light may add items from time to time.

The Lighthouse is a work in progress and may undergo substantial changes as readers react to the content posted here. The Northern Light kindly asks for the patience of its readers as we edge ever so slightly into the world of blogging.

Thank you, and enjoy The Lighthouse Blog!