The grand opening of the new Buffalo Sector Headquarters was October 19, 2006. Previously, the Sector was located at 231 Grand Island Blvd, Tonawanda, New York 14150.
The present Buffalo Sector was formed with a merger of the Niagara Falls and Buffalo Sector Headquarters. The Niagara Falls Sector was established in June of 1924. It had a complement of 90 officers with stations located in Niagara Falls, Lewiston, Youngstown, Rochester, Canandaigua and Oswego, New York. The Buffalo Sector was established in July of the same year, with a complement of 90 officers. Station within this sector were located in Buffalo, Athol Springs, Silver Creek, and Dunkirk, New York. Additional stations were also located in Ashtabula, Ohio, and Erie, Pennsylvania.
During those early years, the Buffalo Sector battled both alien and liquor smugglers who attempted to enter the U.S. by small boat or by hiding in freight or passenger trains that entered the U.S. across three railroad bridges between the U.S. and Canada.
The repeal of prohibition, coupled with improved highways and communications, dictated a reduction in the Sector's manpower. In 1935, the Niagara Falls Sector was eliminated and Buffalo was designated as Sector Headquarters for the Western New York area. As technology, improved roads and modern techniques were developed, the need for outlying stations was reduced and most of them were closed.
The present Buffalo Sector consists of Sector Headquarters and stations located in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Oswego, Rochester and Wellesley Island, New York, and Erie, Pennsylvania.
The Buffalo Sector Headquarters is the operations, administrative, and support facility. The Headquarters staff coordinates training, personnel issues, and logistics. All these functions are under the supervision of the Chief Patrol Agent and his staff.
Sector Headquarters provides support to the agents in the field at several levels. Intelligence Agents and Research Specialists gather, analyze and distribute information and intelligence regarding cross border illegal activity, terrorist threats and activities, current patterns, and trends involving alien and contraband smuggling.
The Sector Communications Center is located with the Sector Headquarters. Sector Enforcement Specialist (SES's) staff the Communications Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SES's monitor sensor intrusion activations and remote video surveillance cameras, and they respond to a wide variety of inquiries from Border Patrol Agents in the field or other law enforcement agencies concerning foreign nationals they have encountered.
The Buffalo Sector has recently installed a Remote Video Surveillance System (RVSS), which places cameras at strategic locations along the US/Canada border. These cameras allow the Sector Enforcement Specialists to detect illegal border entries and communicate those intrusions to Border Patrol Agents in the field. The RVSS cameras are equipped with infrared capabilities ensuring border coverage even during the hours of darkness.
The sector has a full-service vehicle maintenance shop and two full-time automotive mechanics who maintain the wide variety of vehicles used by Border Patrol Agents to patrol the Buffalo Sector area.
The most recent enhancement to the Buffalo Sector's efforts to monitor and secure the international boundary has been the addition of a CBP Air and Marine Branch. Aircraft and full-time pilots provide the agents on the ground a "birds-eye view" of the border area. In an aircraft, response time is minimized, and the amount of area that can be patrolled is increased.
Agents of the Buffalo Sector perform a wide variety of Border Patrol activities. These include: linewatch, transportation check, traffic observation, boat patrol, and other agency assistance. Buffalo Sector places a premium on partnerships with other agencies such as the United States Coast Guard, the Pennsylvania and New York State Police, as well as the many other city, county, and local police forces within the Sector AOR. Additionally, the Sector has developed close working relationships with numerous Canadian law enforcement agencies such as the Toronto Police, and RCMP.
Buffalo Area of Responsibility
The Buffalo Sector is comprised of 29 counties, which include all of the Western parts of New York State, portions of Central and Northern New York State, and parts of Pennsylvania.
The international boundary in the Buffalo Sector is composed entirely of water and consists of Lakes Erie and Ontario, the Niagara River, and the western portion of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The Buffalo Sector is responsible for monitoring over 400 air miles of border that includes 36 miles of the Niagara River and 33 miles of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.