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(Monday, June 08, 2009) - Warroad, Minn. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced the selection of CBP Officer Michael Rasmussen, currently assigned to the Warroad Minn. port of entry, as regional chaplain for the agency. As an officer and chaplain, Rasmussen will provide service to the Pembina Area Port, as well as the Seattle field office. The purpose of the chaplaincy program is to provide a resource for spiritual guidance, counseling and assistance to CBP officers, Border Patrol agents, other CBP employees, and their immediate families in both crisis and non-crisis situations.

The service of chaplains in the United States has a rich history that dates back over 250 years when Colonel George Washington requested a chaplain for his regiment. Washington saw then that the work of a chaplain is an essential component of a spiritually sound organization. The program is unique in that chaplains serve in dual roles as officers and spiritual counselors. Pembina Service Port Director Mary Delaquis said, “The Chaplaincy Program is a new employee support program to the Pembina Service Area and CBPO Rasmussen will do an excellent job”.

Officer Rasmussen is a well qualified chaplain; he graduated from the Border Patrol Chaplaincy Program academy that included instruction on the history of chaplains, legal aspects, confidentiality, relationship issues, crisis management, and death notifications. The training also included practical exercises in ground defense, critical incident scene management, and crisis intervention.

Officer Rasmussen is available not only to the employees of CBP field Operations and Border Patrol but also to any law enforcement organization in Minnesota and North Dakota.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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