Keeping The Border Safe: B.P. Agents On Horseback
They're the guys on the ground, helping protect the border everyday.
And they do more than the average agent.
Border patrol says despite all the new technologies, there has been nothing that can replace what Bevo, Ranger and their friends can do.
Our Annette Garcia was out with them and their partners and has the story.
Adopted by border patrol 'Bevo' was once a wild mustang.
Tamed by inmates in Colorado, he now helps fight crime on the border.
He's getting ready for another day at work.
“We do this at the start of the day and end of every day.”
There is no need for horse shoes on these horses.
Agents say nothing can replace thier natural ability to tackle rough terrain, a key skill not many can match.
“We can have all the trucks and ATVs in the world if we cant go through them.”
We joined the agents, Bevo and a few of the 18 border patrol horses to see what they face every day.
“Mesquite, black brush, huisaches.”
And quickly find out its no easy ride.
“We can go through different routes different cattle trails that most vehicles cant go in.”
The area in and around Laredo is tough to cover, especially when you're chasing people who will do anything to hide.
“They'll see we are on horses they'll say you know we're not going to run. they're bigger and faster..”
Obviously Theres a lot of brush in this area these trail are full of potholes. things regular vehicles would have a tough time to get through. these horses go through that and more.
“These are some things we don't have to teach a horse. especially a mustang. theyre used to all these ups and downs.”
A steep wall of rocks is no problem.
If there's no trail,
“They make their own.”
Giving agents the edge new technology is missing.
“Helicopters cant see clearly. what we in the bushes can see. and thats the advantage we have against other technologies.”
And the job gets done quickly.
“We're apprehending a lot more people coming into the country illegally. which there's a lot less chance of somebody thats going to do harm in this country.”
The horse patrol was brought back to Laredo in 2010.
That year horses helped apprehend 441 people.
Last year that number jumped to over 2,000.
“They’ll see we have horses and say you know we're not going to run. they're bigger faster.”
The hard work of agents and their four legged crime fighting friends.
“It's a bond that you have with a horse. some people think of it as a big animal but its a partner for you.”
Agents say the horse patrol also plays a big role in rescuing people who have illegally crossed the border but end up stranded and dehydrated out in ranches across the area.
All of the horses also have a close tie to our community.
Each one is named by area schoolchildren.