The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency turns its eye from the deserts to the seas.
The Department of Homeland Security will begin testing dashboard cameras in vehicles used to patrol the U.S./Mexico border - not as much for suspect safety as for that of U.S. Border Patrol agents.
Federal officials say an unprecedented number of excessive force complaints against the agency led to this decision.
The launch of a pilot surveillance video program is the result of incident and policy reviews both inside U.S. Customs and Border Protection and outside the organization
Along with dashboard cameras in agency vehicles, agents may wear lapel cameras attached to their uniforms.
The agency also plans changes to its internal oversight of use-of-force training and how such incidents are tracked.
While the move is applauded by human rights organizations the changes don't address one of the biggest criticisms - policies that allow Border Patrol agents to use deadly force against rock throwers.
Eight people have been killed by agents in rock throwing incidents since 2010, according to the Americans Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The ACLU attributes at least 19 deaths to use of force by federal border agents since that same year.
Video footage of a confrontation with a suspect can help investigators determine when an officer uses excessive force and protect officers from false allegations, officials said.
Further changes to use-of-force policy are being considered, but the department said agent safety is its priority.
New U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents will have more training days involving real-life scenarios.
The agency is building replica border fences at its training center and will include instruction on the use of less lethal force such at shotguns that shoot beanbags and pepper pellets.