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  • Originally posted by RGB28 View Post
    Hello, Rachel from MN here. I've really enjoyed reading this thread for the past week while waiting for my account to obtain access for posting!

    Last fall I applied for Northwest/Northern Border. I'm a bit behind in the application process since I had to defer my medical/fitness exam for 90 days due to pregnancy. I took these tests last month and passed the physical ( yahoo) and am waiting for the medical to clear (the facility forgot to complete a portion of the exam). I've passed the video based and structured interviews, so I guess the polygraph is next and then on to the background check?

    There doesn't seem to be many Northwest/Northern Border applicants or current CBP officers on here. I'm looking to learn more about this region, specifically the ports of Roosville, Eastport, Porthill, Blane and Sumas (All of these are a few hours from a major airport/city). I'm from a very rural town in MN about 3 hours from the Canadian border, and 3 hrs north of Minneapolis. I'm not familiar with any these ports west of MN. What should I know about this geographical region? Trying to do as much research as possible. I understand that if hired, I will get a call with a list of ports hiring at the time and would need to make a selection by end of day. Are there any ports that I can mostly count on being on this list that are usually hiring, and any that I should steer clear of? Also, is there a way to find out how busy the ports are and how many officers they employ? I understand that it is very difficult to transfer out of northern border ports, so I want to choose wisely Sorry for the long post. All responses would be GREATLY appreciated!!! Thanks!
    You don't like northern MN and ND?

    There's probably an opening between the MT/ND line and I-Falls or Duluth...if you ask when you get "the call".

    Anyhow...I've been to Roosville. Not much for a US city anywhere near there...not unless you think Bemidji and/or Detroit Lakes are cities. 25 officers or so, Beautiful country...but pricey...especially as far as real estate goes.

    Blaine is the big boy here, 275 officers, give or take. Sumas is 60ish. Eastport and Porthill 14-25ish.

    As far as I know, there is no publicly released listing on the numbers of officers or vehicle traffic for most ports. You might find something with a Google search...or you can try here...

    http://forums.delphiforums.com/customsinspect

    I doubt anybody there has a list...but you ought to be able to find Officers who've worked many of those ports.

    It appears you are traveling with a kid...are you traveling with anybody else? If you are, Roosville, Porthill, Eastport and to a lesser extent Sumas are going to offer little in terms of job opportunities for a spouse. Blaine by far would be your best option if that's a consideration.

    Comment


    • Thank you Jade for those tips! That will prove to be useful for me.
      Geo - Central East Coast
      CBPO Exam - 10/18/2013
      NOR - 10/24/2013
      TSL - 1/30/2014
      VBT #1 - 3/12/14 (out of country)
      PFT1/medical - 3/20/2014
      VBT/SI #2 - 5/15/2014 (eligible 5/22/2014)
      eQuip/fingerprints - 9/29/2014

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Jade78 View Post
        Future, was she the same person that you told me she got her drug test couple weeks after meeting a BI or is she a different person?
        This is definitely an odd situation and it must be a shock for the poor thing. Would she be able to stay where she at with her current job after found unsuitable?
        No, these are two different applicants, I work for TSA at the airport, so there were a lot of us who have applied.
        This shouldn't impact her current job whatsoever.
        We think it was because she wasn't able to provide a lot of information her step-father, as she rarely sees him, same as her biological father. Two close people she couldn't account for.
        Geo - East Texas
        Exam date - 9/7/2013
        NOR - 9/13/2013 score = 97 no vet pnts.
        TSL - 11/27/2014
        PFT1 - 12/27/2014
        VBT/SI - 1/7/2014
        EQIP - 1/18/2014
        Credit check - 2/4/2014
        GS-7 Qualification cass update - 2/24/2014
        Poly exam - 4/8/2014 - PASS
        Interview with investigator - 5/7/2014
        Background submitted from investigator - 6/4/2014
        Drug Test - 6/26/2014
        PFT2 - 7/10/2014
        EOD - JULY 28th, 2014
        FLETC - 8/18/2014 - 12/30/2014
        CBP Session #359 Guidon
        Awarded Physical Training Award

        Comment


        • Originally posted by merlin436 View Post
          You don't like northern MN and ND?

          There's probably an opening between the MT/ND line and I-Falls or Duluth...if you ask when you get "the call".

          Anyhow...I've been to Roosville. Not much for a US city anywhere near there...not unless you think Bemidji and/or Detroit Lakes are cities. 25 officers or so, Beautiful country...but pricey...especially as far as real estate goes.

          Blaine is the big boy here, 275 officers, give or take. Sumas is 60ish. Eastport and Porthill 14-25ish.

          As far as I know, there is no publicly released listing on the numbers of officers or vehicle traffic for most ports. You might find something with a Google search...or you can try here...

          http://forums.delphiforums.com/customsinspect

          I doubt anybody there has a list...but you ought to be able to find Officers who've worked many of those ports.

          It appears you are traveling with a kid...are you traveling with anybody else? If you are, Roosville, Porthill, Eastport and to a lesser extent Sumas are going to offer little in terms of job opportunities for a spouse. Blaine by far would be your best option if that's a consideration.
          Thank you Merlin436! Was seriously hoping you'd chime in as it seems you have much experience and at various ports. Nothing wrong with Northern MN but if we are going to up and move, I'd like to try someplace all together different...I think And ND seems like no mans land... sorry ND. The main reason I chose Northern border is because my husband loves to hunt/fish/snowmobile (as do my 5 & 3 yr old) so I sorta got out voted... for now

          I definitely don't consider Bemidji and Detroit Lakes to be major cities. I mentioned Roosville because it isn't that far from Kalispell, which is decent is size right? Good to know about the real estate being pricey.

          Job opportunities would not be an issue initially. My husband has been a business owner for the past 15+ years and the plan is for him to stay home with our three kids. Is a transfer down the road to say FL or the SE realistic or should I plan on spending 20 yrs on the norther border???

          Also,what are the pros and cons of working at a airport vs border crossing? Do the duties differ much or do you see more of a difference working in a large port (Blaine) vs small (Porthill) port. What things should one consider when looking at a large vs small port, as far as work goes?

          What is a typical day like for a new CBP officer? My brother is an agricultural specialist at a sea port in FL. He has told me some of what the officers at his port do, but it seems like they mostly process cruise passengers and only at certain times of the day, which doesn't seem very comparable to a busy border crossing or airport. Do you work from a booth and process people/vehicles your entire shift?

          THANK YOU once again. In most jobs, you have a chance to sit down with someone in HR and ask specific questions about the position you are applying for. That is not the case with this position so I appreciate hearing everyone's comments!

          Comment


          • Thank you Jade! I can't remember if I submitted the SF86. I did upload several documents right after my NOR but can't remember if the SF86 was one of them.

            Comment


            • I'm thinking ahead here but if I get to the point of possibly getting called to choose a port to work at, I'm curious if anybody knows what working at Newark/JFK is like. I picked central east coast as my region, so that is most likely what I would be given to choose from.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by RGB28 View Post
                I mentioned Roosville because it isn't that far from Kalispell, which is decent is size right? Good to know about the real estate being pricey.
                Originally posted by RGB28 View Post
                Thank you Jade! I can't remember if I submitted the SF86. I did upload several documents right after my NOR but can't remember if the SF86 was one of them.
                Rachel, I don't know where Roosville is but Kalispell is beautiful town. Western Montana is one of the most places I have ever been. You are between two breath taking national parks, it's a fishing and hunting mecca. Yes, there are more cows than people here but you can find the friendliest residents I have ever seen. Cons? Cold weather, not big shopping centers and the whole state just crossed million in population in 2012.

                SF86 is an online form where you fill it out within a timeline, you have to submit your fingerprints and give financial disclosure. If you don't remember that then you probably didn't do that yet.

                Originally posted by FutureCBPO View Post
                No, these are two different applicants, I work for TSA at the airport, so there were a lot of us who have applied.
                This shouldn't impact her current job whatsoever.
                We think it was because she wasn't able to provide a lot of information her step-father, as she rarely sees him, same as her biological father. Two close people she couldn't account for.
                That's pretty sad and kind of wrong too. Did she explain to them why she doesn't have sufficient info about them? I actually didn't know that not giving information about your relatives could disqualify an applicant.

                Comment


                • New to the forum, but have been reading throughout my process. Seems like everyone is experiencing the same intensity of this process. Is anyone's region also central/east coast? If so, what are the most likely ports to be offered?







                  Geo Central East Coast
                  10/26/13 Took the test
                  11/06/13 Passed Written test
                  03/31/14 Received TSL
                  04/09/14 Did medical and fitness test
                  06/05/14 Did the VBT& SI interview
                  06/10/14 Received BI paperwork
                  Geo Central East Coast
                  10/26/13 Took the test
                  11/06/13 Passed Written test
                  03/31/14 Received TSL
                  04/09/14 Did medical and fitness test
                  06/05/14 Did the VBT& SI interview
                  06/13/14 Received BI paperwork
                  07/10/14 Polygraph Test (inclonclusive) part 2 08/22/2014

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by NMPD128 View Post
                    New to the forum, but have been reading throughout my process. Seems like everyone is experiencing the same intensity of this process. Is anyone's region also central/east coast? If so, what are the most likely ports to be offered?







                    Geo Central East Coast
                    10/26/13 Took the test
                    11/06/13 Passed Written test
                    03/31/14 Received TSL
                    04/09/14 Did medical and fitness test
                    06/05/14 Did the VBT& SI interview
                    06/10/14 Received BI paperwork
                    Im Westcoast, but it does look like alot of us are from the cbp job posting from around june/2013 last year. Goodluck through this next point in the process NM
                    Geo: West Coast
                    Applied: 7-1-13
                    Tested: 8-3-13
                    NOR: 9-9-13 (96%)
                    Tentative Select: 12-16-13
                    Medical: 12-30-13
                    Submitted SF86: 2-28-14
                    VBT & SI: 3-17-14
                    Polygraph x2: 4-7-14 (inconclusive)/ 4-30-14 (passed)
                    Sit down with BI: 5-22-14
                    Background finished: 6-10-14
                    Background Checkmark: 8-14-14
                    Drug Test: 8-13-14
                    The Call: 08-20-14
                    PFT2: 09-05-14 San Diego
                    EOD: 9-22-2014
                    Academy: 10-23-2014 to 03-09-2015

                    Comment


                    • Good news fellow applicants , got my VBT/SI results it states "eligible" and will receive "further consideration". Also some extra information on the PFT2 and how important it is to maintain a high level of fitness. You guys receive the same letter? No BI email yet though. Good luck my friends

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Jade78 View Post
                        Rachel, I don't know where Roosville is...
                        Roosville is the port more or less due north of Kalispell. past Whitefish and Eureka.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by john_martinez View Post
                          Good news fellow applicants , got my VBT/SI results it states "eligible" and will receive "further consideration". Also some extra information on the PFT2 and how important it is to maintain a high level of fitness. You guys receive the same letter? No BI email yet though. Good luck my friends

                          Congratulations John!
                          Keep at it man! I did receive the same letter.
                          BI should come soon in email, and fingerprint cards in the mail.
                          should come soon for you.
                          Geo - East Texas
                          Exam date - 9/7/2013
                          NOR - 9/13/2013 score = 97 no vet pnts.
                          TSL - 11/27/2014
                          PFT1 - 12/27/2014
                          VBT/SI - 1/7/2014
                          EQIP - 1/18/2014
                          Credit check - 2/4/2014
                          GS-7 Qualification cass update - 2/24/2014
                          Poly exam - 4/8/2014 - PASS
                          Interview with investigator - 5/7/2014
                          Background submitted from investigator - 6/4/2014
                          Drug Test - 6/26/2014
                          PFT2 - 7/10/2014
                          EOD - JULY 28th, 2014
                          FLETC - 8/18/2014 - 12/30/2014
                          CBP Session #359 Guidon
                          Awarded Physical Training Award

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by NMPD128 View Post
                            New to the forum, but have been reading throughout my process. Seems like everyone is experiencing the same intensity of this process. Is anyone's region also central/east coast? If so, what are the most likely ports to be offered?
                            Welcome to our forum. My geo is central east coast but I haven't referred anything yet. I am now waiting on the adjudication decision. Also, I am not a CBP employee, I am a student.

                            Originally posted by john_martinez View Post
                            Good news fellow applicants , got my VBT/SI results it states "eligible" and will receive "further consideration". Also some extra information on the PFT2 and how important it is to maintain a high level of fitness. You guys receive the same letter? No BI email yet though. Good luck my friends
                            Congrats on passing this step. Now get ready for the dreaded BI process.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by RGB28 View Post
                              Thank you Merlin436! Was seriously hoping you'd chime in as it seems you have much experience and at various ports. Nothing wrong with Northern MN but if we are going to up and move, I'd like to try someplace all together different...I think And ND seems like no mans land... sorry ND. The main reason I chose Northern border is because my husband loves to hunt/fish/snowmobile (as do my 5 & 3 yr old) so I sorta got out voted... for now

                              I definitely don't consider Bemidji and Detroit Lakes to be major cities. I mentioned Roosville because it isn't that far from Kalispell, which is decent is size right? Good to know about the real estate being pricey.

                              Job opportunities would not be an issue initially. My husband has been a business owner for the past 15+ years and the plan is for him to stay home with our three kids. Is a transfer down the road to say FL or the SE realistic or should I plan on spending 20 yrs on the norther border???

                              Also,what are the pros and cons of working at a airport vs border crossing? Do the duties differ much or do you see more of a difference working in a large port (Blaine) vs small (Porthill) port. What things should one consider when looking at a large vs small port, as far as work goes?

                              What is a typical day like for a new CBP officer? My brother is an agricultural specialist at a sea port in FL. He has told me some of what the officers at his port do, but it seems like they mostly process cruise passengers and only at certain times of the day, which doesn't seem very comparable to a busy border crossing or airport. Do you work from a booth and process people/vehicles your entire shift?

                              THANK YOU once again. In most jobs, you have a chance to sit down with someone in HR and ask specific questions about the position you are applying for. That is not the case with this position so I appreciate hearing everyone's comments!
                              Kalispell/Columbia Falls/Whitefish together are a decent sized town. Think maybe 1/3-1/2 the size of St. Cloud. Not small, by many standards. Not really big either.

                              "Transfers" to the SE or FL...maybe. A lot depends on circumstance and your willingness to jump on what is available. if you're flexible and willing to grab onto anything, like FLETC instructor positions and less desirable ports like Key West, your chances greatly increase.

                              Airport vs land border...

                              There are no absolutes but as a general rule airport CBPOs tend to work largely indoor jobs dealing mostly people. Usually, more overtime and generally a more "structured" environment, more supervision. Flights tend to be more predictable. Shifts tend to be more varied. People flying internationally can usually be more vetted much easier that those crossing at land ports. Airports are also more likely not to run as 24 hour operations. Airports also tend to have more for amenities nearby, like food courts and the like. More "celebrities", more "media". More of a tendency to focus on "clearing traffic" as airlines, aircrews and passengers tend to complain and are listened to more.

                              Land border tends to be less predictable. Traffic is more informal and "last-minute". More cargo. More vehicles. Largely outdoors. Often miles away from towns and amenities. Many are 24 hour operations. Shifts tend to be fewer and less OT. More drunks. More dirt, more garbage. More "trailer trash" and low-lifes.

                              Large ports tend to see more stuff, but they tend to have more people to work it. That often means that large port people tend to specialize within a narrow band of duties. Small port people on the other hand tend to clean everything they catch...which tends to make people less of subject-matter-specialists and more of a Jack-of-all-trades.

                              "Typical day" varies wildly between ports. The gal in Blaine might be spending all day moving between one duty and another. Another gal in Pinecreek, MN might see 8 cars a shift and spend 6 straight hours reading email and watching TV.

                              Most of the time, people rotate out of the booths in a land border...however, I have spent a full 8-hour shift attached to a booth. It's not something that happens often, at least to me...but it's happened.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by john_martinez View Post
                                Good news fellow applicants , got my VBT/SI results it states "eligible" and will receive "further consideration". Also some extra information on the PFT2 and how important it is to maintain a high level of fitness. You guys receive the same letter? No BI email yet though. Good luck my friends
                                Congratulations. I take mine on 6/12/2014, so I can relax and wait a week more, jajajajaja. My geo is Southwest. Which one is yours?

                                Comment

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