The CNMI Customs and Biosecurity Division is gearing up for its 30 Customs cadets from Saipan, Tinian, and Rota to graduate this year, tentatively set for July 29.
According to acting Customs director James Deleon Guerrero, the upcoming graduation is going to be historic because not only is it the largest graduating class by far, but it is also the only class that will be graduating with associate degrees, thanks to Customs’ current partnership with the Northern Marianas College.
“Even though they are employed by us, it’s NMC that calls the shots as to what exactly happens to them. Then, once they’re able to go through the academic phases, that’s when they get turned over to us for graduation. It’s really a historic academy in the sense that these guys will not just be earning credits, but we’re also going to be getting their associate degree,” he said.
Deleon Guerrero said the academy is composed of a physical phase, academic phase, and job training phase.
“The academy is comprised of the academic component, and this time around, this is our first with the Northern Marianas College, so we’re very excited to have NMC as a partner in delivering the academic portion. We do have physical fitness like the agility tests our cadets need to undergo as part of their training. Finally, we also do hands-on work. So we have our cadets participate in on-the-job training where they shadow other officers. This is all to further develop their skills in becoming the inspectors that we want them to be in the future,” Deleon Guerrero said.
This year, Deleon Guerrero said the students also underwent a survival course.
“They were also required to undergo the officer survival courses where they are actually taught handcuffing techniques, self-defense, etc. And then there’s also a portion where they have to be certified in the firearms that they’re going to be issued,” he said.