In this fourth episode, Florian Krejsa interviewed Mr. Dennis Cosgrove who is the head of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department's Border Security and Management Unit. Mr. Cosgrove has been with the OSCE since 2013. Prior to that, his duty stations included the United States Embassy in the Republic of Tajikistan, the United States Department of Justice, as well as the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Cosgrove will talk about how the current pandemic has changed the daily work routine of his unit, the necessary transition from in-person-training to online training, and its challenges, as well as a look forward into the future of border security in these difficult times.
Transnational Treats Department – Border Security and Management Unit releases ‘Live from the Borders’ podcast series
The spread of the novel coronavirus is having disruptive effects on the freedom of movement of people and goods across the borders, affecting also the usual operation of border security and management agencies in the OSCE area and beyond.
Front-line officers at the borders are the first ones to be confronted with this new reality. They have to face numerous challenges, from those deriving from the restricted access to the border crossing for people and goods to the difficulties connected to setting up a border crossing point where it did not exist anymore (e.g. Schengen zone).
They have to face the challenges to keep themselves and others safe and protected from the virus while performing their duties. Furthermore, they have to address specific questions and requests of people wishing to cross the border, despite the restrictive measures.
The COVID-19 outbreak generated multiple legitimate questions: are front-line officers ready to respond to all these unprecedented situations? Are they trained to manage the potential implications of health crises at the borders? Do they have adequate resources, tools and protective equipment? Do they identify innovative ways to effectively respond to the new circumstances? What are the best practices and lessons learned that can be shared with their colleagues?