LAREDO, Texas – The Laredo Sector Border Patrol initiated a first of its kind academy for representatives of the congressional staff delegation. The STAFFDEL Academy was designed to engage with representatives of the different congressional offices in the State of Texas to foster an understanding of the mission, goals and operations of the United States Border Patrol. The different congressional offices represented at the STAFFDEL Academy included staffers from the offices of Congressman John Ratcliffe, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, Congressman Henry Cuellar, Congressman Blake Farenthold, Senator Ted Cruz and also included City of Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz.
The STAFFDEL Academy initiated a meet and greet with Acting Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens, from the Laredo Sector Border Patrol, who provided an overview and challenges of the Laredo Sector. The academy included a walk-through of the Laredo Sector Communications Center where dispatchers monitor radio traffic and camera feeds of the border. A behind the scenes look at the Laredo North Border Patrol Checkpoint on Interstate Highway 35, a demonstration of the VirTra Training Simulator, and a tour of a command and control center displaying the latest camera technology along the border, was also provided. The next day continued with a presentation of the Use of Force tools used by Border Patrol agents in the field, a riverine tour on airboats and a trail walk that concluded with a display of the Horse Patrol Unit.
“The Laredo Sector STAFFDEL Academy was one of its kind. It brought together numerous staffers from various congressional offices from all over the State of Texas. It was a great opportunity for them to get an inside look of what it takes to secure our borders and get a ground view of what our men and women do on a daily basis. It helps keep our representatives in the House and in the Senate aware of both our successes and challenges including what we need to continue to secure the border and keep our communities safe,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel H. Acosta.