U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations (OFO) is constantly under fire. Tasked with all of the operational, front-line work to protect the nation’s borders, their leader, Acting Executive Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Field Operations Diane Sabatino, manages the numerous missions, challenges, and threats.
CBP has successfully implemented facial biometrics, or “Simplified Arrival,” into the entry processes at all international airports, and into the exit processes at 46 airport locations. The agency has expanded facial biometrics at 38 seaports and all pedestrian lanes at both Southwest Border and Northern Border ports of entry. To date, CBP has processed more than 300 million travelers using biometric facial comparison technology and prevented more than 1,800 imposters from entering the United States. Simultaneously utilizing and improving OFO’s intelligence, technology, coordination, training, communications, safety and much more, Sabatino is leveraging everything at her disposal for more than 31,000 employees and an annual operating budget of $6.5 billion. She oversees the facilitation of legitimate travel for more than 410 million travelers annually in the air, land, and maritime environments. In the cargo environment, she oversees the review of more than 29 million cargo containers to identify high-risk shipments, including processing more than 5.2 million containers.
And Sabatino is managing the threats — from a terrorist to a dirty bomb to transnational threats and drug trafficking — by using a multifaceted approach that includes advanced detection capabilities, such as specialized canines and non-intrusive inspection technology, laboratory testing and scientific analysis, domestic and foreign partnerships, and intelligence and information sharing. She is investing in frontline officers and intelligence with new, innovative technology to layer enforcement and identification strategy while also maintaining safety measures for frontline personnel and procuring advanced detection and identification tools. Sabatino is leveraging collaboration with federal, state, local, tribal, and international partners to address drug trafficking and other transnational threats at all points of entry even including through the mail. If that was not enough, as the Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner (DEAC) of OFO she led CBP’s National Incident Command for Operation Allies Welcome (OAW), where she provided humanitarian relief for more than 84,000 people fleeing Afghanistan while maintaining the safety and security of the United States. Sabatino previously served as the Director, Field Operations (DFO) for the Miami and Tampa Field Office and as the Port Director for the Port of Miami.