YUMA, Ariz.–Yuma Sector Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Eric Odden will conclude an illustrious career with the U.S. Border Patrol spanning over 28 years when he officially retires Oct. 31, 2015.
The deputy chief entered on duty in June 1987 as part of Class 208 of the Border Patrol academy. His first duty assignment was at Douglas Station in Tucson Sector. He transferred to Tucson Station in August 1988, and in August 1996, he was promoted to supervisory Border Patrol agent at Tucson Station.
Odden was promoted to field operations supervisor in November 2003 and transferred to Casa Grande Station. In December 2005, he was selected as the patrol agent in charge of Douglas Station, and in January 2010, he was promoted to associate chief in the Operations Division at Headquarters, U.S. Border Patrol in Washington D.C. where he led the Planning and Coordination Section.
In May 2011, he was selected as acting director for State, Local and Tribal Liaison (SLT) within U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of the Commissioner. In that capacity he leveraged strategic partnerships with other government and law enforcement entities which created a unified approach to improve border security and facilitated legitimate trade and travel that ultimately increased CBP's effectiveness.
Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Odden returned to Yuma Border Patrol Sector in May 2012, having briefly served here as acting deputy chief earlier in the year.
Throughout his 28 year career, Odden has held a variety of collateral duties, to include canine handler and coordinator, and commander of the Honor Guard, Peer Support and Chaplaincy Programs for Tucson Sector.
He has successfully completed the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Leadership in Police Organizations training, both as a student and a certified instructor.
Prior to joining the Border Patrol, Deputy Chief Odden graduated from Montana Law Enforcement Academy and was a deputy sheriff for Toole County Sheriff's Department in northern Montana.
Odden is a native of Pontiac, Michigan but grew up in Shelby, Montana. He and his wife, Lois, have two children and three grandchildren.
Following retirement, Odden and his family will remain in the Yuma area.
The retiring deputy chief has accepted a position with Arizona Western College in an advisory, administrative role in course development at the college. His principal efforts will be directed at the formulation of an advanced course curriculum for public safety entities in the Yuma area. The goal of the new offerings will be opening inroads for heightened training and education of law enforcement personnel at varying levels.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.