Haines customs station will double its staff

Posted: Friday, June 14, 2002

HAINES (AP) -- Staffing at the Dalton Cache border station 40 miles northwest of Haines will double with the addition of six permanent full-time positions in October.

The measure is to ensure round-the-clock manning of the border station by at least two officers, a policy instituted after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

Customs supervisor Judy Ewald told the Chilkat Valley News that four full-time customs agent positions and two immigration jobs will be added at Dalton Cache, doubling local staffing for both agencies.

''When you add all those shifts, and consider training and turnover, we'll need that many to handle it,'' Ewald said.

Since Sept. 11, extra staffing needs have been met by temporary transfers from other border stations. Ewald said that is too expensive and it taxes the customs service elsewhere.

''The cost of flying them up here, housing, per diem, car rentals. Plus were taking them away from airports, and the airports are coming up short. Its not the way to keep going.''

Ewald said the normal job announcement period was shortened to enable the hire to be made by fall.

Last week, a dozen Haines residents were among statewide candidates who took the practical written test for the job.

Ewald said the government is considering building more housing units at Dalton Cache. The government does not own much more property on which to build, she said, but there is room for a four- or five-unit apartment building.

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