The Thinner Blue Line ─ The Life and Times of a Dedicated Customs Officer



Canada Customs has been protecting Canada’s borders since 1719 and has had a major role in interdicting such threats to Canada as drugs, guns, terrorism, and smuggling. Yet, the oldest enforcement arm of the Canadian government is also the least understood by its citizens.

Barry Risk, was a customs officer for many years, working his way up through the hierarchy from working in the field to working security and intelligence. He served in air operations, postal customs, pornography, smuggling, organized crime operations, counterterrorism, security, and guns.

When he was working in the field, Risk had many odd and amusing experiences with travellers. One woman tried to smuggle a baby in a gym bag. Someone else had cocaine dissolved in a bottle of rum. Or a mother with a baby in a carriage has filled the baby’s diaper full of hash. And it goes on and on. Risk has a great many of these fascinating vignettes in The Thinner Blue Line—along with the endless variety of frustrations caused by the policymakers in Ottawa.

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