Conexión Del Rio/ Staff report     
Photo courtesy of Del Rio Sector Border Patrol                        

DEL RIO, Texas – Eleven Del Rio residents recently completed an eight-week Citizens Academy, which gave them a first-hand look into the U.S. Border Patrol and its operations. During the graduation on May 17, each participant received a graduation certificate for successfully completing the course, which provides ordinary citizens the chance to see up close the intricacies of the Patrol’s day-to-day operations in Del Rio Sector.

Chief Patrol Agent Felix Chavez welcomed the attendees at the initial overview session, which was held March 29, and met with the class for their final session. “We’re very proud of our Citizens Academy graduates,” said Chief Chavez. “Their interest in this program and the enthusiasm with which they have navigated the course deserves praise. Our agents enjoyed working with this group and we all look forward to another successful academy session.”

The attendees met every Thursday for eight weeks and each session focused on a different aspect of the Border Patrol’s mission. Topics included search and seizure law, lawful arrests, use of force techniques, and firearms training. Attendees got to use “VirTra,” a new, interactive tool that provides a scenario-based approach to firearms training for agents. They also visited the Comstock Station and its checkpoint on Texas Highway 90.  The Sector’s Special Operations Detachment presented an overview of its operations and agents from the Del Rio Station held a tracking and interdiction exercise.  Agents also demonstrated the use of a scope truck, one of many tools used by Border Patrol agents during night time operations. The graduates finished the course with presentations from the Del Rio Station Horse Patrol and the Del Rio Sector Strategic Communications Branch.