Former Border Patrol Agent and current Terrell County Sheriff talks about border concerns
ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - We met up with a former border patrol agent to hear how he and others make sure what happened in San Antonio doesn’t happen over here in West Texas. We talked to the Border Patrol Agent and current Sheriff of Terrell County about how he and his department deal with border crossings and how he works with border patrol.
Sheriff Thaddeus Cleveland has been the sheriff of Terrell county for just one month, but, before taking over as the sheriff he worked for border patrol for 26 years, and says there are multiple problems in border counties.
“We rely on the border patrol. I have myself and two other deputies, we rely on the border patrol. They are often first responders to many crimes, accidents, and emergency situations because by sheer numbers there’s a lot more of them than there are of us.” Terrell county sheriff/former border patrol agent, U.S Thaddeus Cleveland
The U.S and Mexico neighbor just around 2000 miles of the border and the Big Bend sector covers over 500 miles of that.
That’s a quarter of borderland in West Texas for border agents and local law enforcement like Sheriff Cleveland, but some technology that helps, hasn’t made its way out here just yet.
“So the difference between the big bend area and other parts of the border whether it’s Rio Grande Valley, the Rio del Rio, moving out to el peso, Tucson, San Diego, the difference is we don’t have the infrastructure south of us or north of us to facilitate the large flow as you see in other areas.” Cleveland
When the area doesn’t have the technology as other regions do, numbers will rise in a dramatic way.
“Last year we had over five thousand apprehensions, actually closer to five thousand five hundred apprehensions. So we’ve seen a five hundred percent increase in activity there in this area. and I can tell you this school year the Sanderson border patrol station is on pace to go surpass those numbers we had last year.” Cleveland
A rise in numbers like that is not just dangerous to the citizens in the area but also to the migrants crossing as they can deal with dangers from the desert, like high temperatures and wind, or snakes.
In the event of something like San Antonio happening here in West Texas, Cleveland said that the border patrol would take the lead due to their resources and expertise, and other agencies would likely take a supportive role.
He also mentioned that the increase in illegal activity also takes away from county emergency medical services as they often have to transport those with heat-related injuries to the closest hospital which is in Fort Stockton.
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