BISBEE, Ariz. -- Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District joined with state and national representatives along with family and friends to honor Brian A. Terry, a border patrol agent who was fatally shot while on duty Dec. 14, 2010, during the dedication ceremony of the Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station held Sept. 18 in Bisbee, Ariz.
“This station really is designed for our 21st
century Border Patrol Agents,” said Humberto De La Cruz, the Patrol Agent in Charge of the new station. “The design of this facility was laid out for our specific needs.”
With the logistics worked out, the project began moving full ahead when construction started in 2010. The project took on a new tone with the death of Agent Terry. Although the agents were still excited about the new facility, there was a sense of need to “do something” to remember him.
During the course of the project’s construction, Rep. Darryl Issa took the idea to name the facility for the slain agent up through Congress and President Barack H. Obama signed H.R. 2668, the "Brian A. Terry Memorial Act," which designated the station as the Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station in May. Robert Heyer came forward on the Terry family’s behalf to thank the CBP and everyone involved in the facility’s construction. He also spoke about the Brian A. Terry Foundation (www.honorbrianterry.com
) which, according to the website, strives to “honor Brian’s work ethic, love of country, and love for his fellow Border Patrol Agents by providing” support for agents across the country.
More than two dozen friends and family were on hand for the ceremony in addition to dozens of CBP agents.
“I remember that day. I was angry. I was hurt. I was stunned with disbelief trying to figure out what kind of people, what kind of scourge of the earth, could perpetrate such a heinous crime,” said Chief Patrol Agent Richard Barlow during the dedication ceremony. “We’re gathered here today to honor the memory of a fine Border Patrol agent. This facility will serve as a reminder of his commitment and his dedication to duty.”
During the ceremony, Larry Flatau, chief of the District’s Interagency and International Support program, received a Certificate of Appreciation from the CBP for the work done on the new facility. The District awarded the contract for the 450-agent station in August 2010. The $34 million facility includes work space for the Customs and Border Patrol agents assigned there, a vehicle maintenance facility, fuel station, indoor shooting range, a wash rack, helipad and stables for horses. In the course of building the new facility, the District’s contractor did run into some interesting obstacles, however.
“One of our biggest challenges was that we had to build up the new station before we tore down the old facility,” said Bob Gillis, CBP project manager. “To do that, we had to work around the agents working three shifts a day.”
Agents said they appreciated working with the District.
“It wasn’t bad to work with the Corps,” said supervisory Border Patrol Agent Kelly Videc. “They really had a talented group and they were very mindful of what we needed throughout the project. Throughout the whole process, they were helpful and accommodating when we needed to make a change. Not everything we [CBP agents] needed was in the plans, but they were very amenable to changes.”
With all the changes made and the facility completed, agents in Bisbee were ready to continue their mission. Agents at the facility are responsible for covering nearly 1,200 square miles of area, including more than 32 miles of the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
“Today, we open a new chapter,” said Barlow. “I stand here before you today to celebrate the life and legacy of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry. May he continue to remind us of the core values under which we serve – Vigilance, Integrity and Service to Country.”