1608 S. Kings Highway
Douglas, AZ 85607
Phone: (520) 805-6900
Fax: (520) 805-8080
The city of Douglas was established in 1901 when the Phelps Dodge Company decided to locate a copper smelter on the banks of Whitewater Draw in southern Cochise County. With its close proximity to the border, relative lack of law enforcement, and the politically unstable conditions in Mexico, Douglas quickly gained a reputation as a wide open, "anything goes" town. The problem was brought under control through better municipal organization coupled with the efforts of Captain Tom Rynning and his Arizona Rangers. In 1902, Captain Rynning moved the headquarters of the Arizona Rangers to Douglas because the majority of the problems being encountered by his 30 man Ranger force were in this area. He later stated, "I've been in many a tough town in my day from Deadwood to Tombstone, but I've never met up with a harder formation than Douglas was when we made it the Arizona Rangers home corral there in 1902."
Douglas still maintains a reputation as an "anything goes" town where the illicit trafficking of illegal aliens and narcotics is concerned. On May 28, 1924, Congress passed the Labor Appropriation Act of 1924, officially establishing the U.S. Border Patrol for the purpose of securing the borders between inspection stations. They mandated that Douglas be one of the initial locations for posting the new personnel who were then called Border Patrol Inspectors rather than Agents. Prior to the establishment of the Patrol, Mounted Inspectors performed the double duties of manning the Douglas Port of Entry and "line riding" on horseback.
In the 1930's, Douglas was increased to an authorized staff of 18 inspectors. However, usually less than 12 were in force. The first station was located at International Avenue and Pan American Avenue. The one-story wooden structure housed Customs and Immigration. In 1932, a new port of entry was constructed and the old wooden structure was moved by railroad flatcar to 21st Street in Douglas where it now serves as a two family residence. The Border Patrol maintained its office in the new Port building until December 16, 1987 when it moved into a new, modern complex located at Leslie Canyon Road and Lawrence Avenue. Construction of that complex began in 1986 and was completed in 1987 at a cost of $1.2 million. The main building encompasses 4,500 square feet of space in southwestern design. The garage, at 1,200 square feet, contains five mechanical bays and two vehicle hoists.
The Douglas Border Patrol made one more move in 2003 to its current location at Highway 80 and Kings Highway. The notice to proceed with construction for the new Douglas Border Patrol Station was issued in December of 2000. Actual construction began shortly afterwards. The facility was built on 29 acres of seized property and was completed in March of 2003 at a cost of $23 million.
Area of Responsibility
The Douglas Station is one of eight stations in the Tucson Sector that ensures the successful implementation of the service's Southwest Border Strategy. The Douglas Station's area of responsibility (AOR) covers 40.5 linear miles of the International Border with Mexico and includes over 1450 square miles of mountainous terrain, with a few small valleys to the north of the International Border.