BROWNSVILLE, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Laredo Field Office (LFO) hosted a change of command ceremony held at the Texas Southmost College Performing Arts Center for Tater Ortiz who was ceremoniously instated to the position of Port Director for the Brownsville Port of Entry on Wednesday, Mar. 6.
“I am deeply honored to be afforded the opportunity to be at the helm of such a fine port and extraordinary group of people. You have my commitment to put forth my best effort each day,” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry. “We have an important and vital mission to accomplish and our success depends on the efforts of our fine men and women of CBP. The security challenges facing our nation are demanding, incessant and compelling, and addressing them requires our complete dedication.”
"I have the utmost confidence in Tater Ortiz’s ability to continue with the tradition of excellence that has driven the Port of Brownsville to be a leader, an innovator, and promoter of excellent best practices which have been adopted by others," said Director, Field Operations David Higgerson, Laredo Field Office. "I look forward to working closely with Mr. Ortiz to continue to improve the facilitation of lawful trade and travel while maintaining our border security posture."
DFO Higgerson introduced Port Director Ortiz, who thanked everyone for their support. Mr. Ortiz recognized the excellent collaboration with federal, state and local stakeholders to improve our communities and secure our borders. “We share a common desire to serve our nation and our community,” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry. “We need to work together through effective partnerships and coordinated efforts. One person cannot do it alone.”
Port Director Ortiz manages a workforce of 500 plus and oversees operations at five international bridge crossings, including two import and export lots, a rail crossing, an international airport, and a seaport. Mr. Ortiz maintains management and oversight responsibilities for processing over nine million passengers and four million vehicles annually.
Mr. Ortiz began his career of government service with the United States Marine Corps, and joined the U.S. Customs Service in 1992. Port Director Ortiz has held several leadership positions at CBP and the legacy agency U.S. Customs Service. He served as the Watch Commander for Border Security in Laredo, Texas, overseeing operations at the passenger, canine and Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team. In this position, he led Laredo Field Office operations to secure the U.S. border and coordinated all enforcement operations with state, local, federal and international law enforcement agencies.
Mr. Ortiz plays a significant role in the agency as he led the construction projects in the passenger environment worth over $88 million at the Laredo Port of Entry and recently deployed the Pedestrian Re-engineering Project, which resulted in a significant reduction in pedestrian inspection time and increased throughput in pedestrian lanes.
Mr. Ortiz has more than 26 years of experience in government service and brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the Port of Brownsville.
Learn more about CBP here.