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RGV Sector Border Patrol Border Community Liaison Program
by Rod Graham from an interview with Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Luis A. Solis
published November 2015

The purpose of the Border Community Liaison (BCL) is to build mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders in the region.

In this context, a stakeholder is any person, group or organization that has interest or concern regarding the security of the our national border.

There are many ways in which BCL builds these local relationships here in the Valley through participation in community outreach programs.

Red Ribbon Week
Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually, usually held in the last full week of October. Since its beginning in 1985, the Red Ribbon has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. In response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America.

Operation Detour
Border Patrol developed Operation Detour as an outreach program to create awareness of the dangers and consequences of drug trafficking, human smuggling and other criminal activities often associated with criminal organizations known as cartels.

Here in the Valley BCL reaches out to middle school and high school students with on site presentations aimed at illustrating the real horrors and tragedies that befall Valley youth and their families who become involved in these criminal activities.

Head of the Class - Youth of the Year
For over 18 years the Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol has administered an educational program titled "Head of the Class".

Each month throughout the academic year, high achieving students from the RGV's high schools are nominated by their respective school counselor and then selected by an impartial committee. Those who are selected receive the Head of the Class (HOC) award. Three HOC recipients are recognized as "Youth of the Year".

Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. and State Representative Sergio Munoz Jr. have partnered with the Border Patrol to give these Youth of the Year recipients recognition at the state capitol in Austin, TX.

Border Watch
As technology advances so does the opportunity to put those new technologies to work. BCL currently utilizes a smart phone app designed to encourage communication between local community members, stakeholders, and the Border Patrol. The Border Watch program improves situational awareness through instant reporting of illegal activity anywhere in the RGV Sector. This makes a quick response possible in areas where it was previously more difficult.