Ajo opens new Border Patrol station

CREATED Nov 27, 2012

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Reporter: Alexis Fernandez

WHY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - After years of planning and construction -- Ajo officially opened its doors to their newest Border Patrol station.

"A new facility like this has bean a long time coming. They clearly deserve it--working out of such cramp quarters if you will in the other facility," said Jose Cruz, acting deputy chief patrol agent with U.S. Border Patrol

The 54,000 square-foot space on 30 acres replaces the old Ajo Border Patrol Station built 25 years ago next door.

The building has a common staff area, general area and a processing center for detainees.

It can accommodate 500 agents, compared to 25 at their old building. It can also hold more than 60 detainees at a time.

Right now, there are about 300 agents patrolling 64 miles of the border.

"For many, remote, arduous working conditions there are challenges, but most certainly it's a personal sacrifice," said Jack Jeffreys, patrol agent in charge at the Ajo Station.

The purpose of the new building is to provide Border Security in an area known for drug smuggling.

Back in 2002, Park Ranger Kris Eggle from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument was killed during a cross-border chase.

"The work environment out here is very difficult, it's very challenging, the agents can attest to that and so can there boots and their uniforms," said Cruz.

Border Patrol agents say they hope their new presence will help nearby communities feel safer.