'Border Live' Law Enforcement Expert Lenny DePaul Explains 'Tough Climate' During Border Conflict

For Lenny DePaul, Border Live is a chance for everyday Americans to see the U.S./Mexico border conflict from the side of law enforcement officers who see it up close and personal.

DePaul, a retired Chief Inspector with the U.S. Marshal Service, opened up to PopCulture.com recently about his role in presenting all sides of the border conflict during Discovery's new series, which shows life along the U.S./Mexico border in a live broadcast.

The longtime law enforcement agent, who serves on a panel alongside other experts such as investigative reporter Lilia Luciano, explained that as the border has become more and more relevant in the headlines of today, showing a neutral perspective of life along the thousands of miles has become even more important.

"To be live on the Mexican border, and it's stretching 2,000 miles from California into Texas, to see the effects that law enforcement are having down there, I mean I understand the sensitivity behind the conversation at everyone's dinner, but to have a firsthand look at everything live is very important," he explained, "so the American people can get a good idea what exactly is happening down there and to keep it at a neutral pace in conversation when you're discussing it."

DePaul emphasized the importance of watching law enforcement react to situations in a live manner, saying, "I think that being live and seeing things as they're unfolding [is important] ... whether it's a migrant jumping a wall for economic reasoning, or a gang member trying to smuggle human beings or weapons or narcotics, and to see how law enforcement is responding live."

The former fugitive hunter said that in the "tough climate" surrounding the border conversation today, especially after the backlash that surrounded U.S. agents spraying tear gas at migrants looking to cross the border near San Diego in November, the key word is "deconfliction" on law enforcement's side.

"Nobody wants to go home at night and to be having nightmares at night about what happened on the border," he said. "So, you know they've got their hands full on both sides of the wall."

He continued, "I think the way [agents are] responding to the caravan, which is the hot topic the past couple of months and whatnot, and how they deployed Mace, and how they reacted to being hit with boulders and rocks, I understand the frustration on both sides. You have to treat it with kid gloves, but you also don't want to get hit in the head with a boulder. They threw a rock at you, you shouldn't deploy Mace ... but unless you're there, you don't know how you'll react."


Border Live airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Photo credit: Discovery