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