TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - There are two new leaders taking on the challenge of two busy Border Patrol stations.
The 500 agents at the Nogales Border Patrol station will be led by Sabri Dikman.
John Scanlon will be commanding about 180 agents at the station in Willcox.
They've both seen a lot of changes in their 19 years as agents.
John Scanlon says drug smuggling used to have more small operations. Now they're large, criminal networks.
He says, “Now one of the challenges we come across in Willcox is adjusting quickly to changes in smuggling tactics. So where as maybe ten or fifteen years ago we would see ten or fifteen aliens in a car, now we see one or two aliens in the trunk, vs a more packed car. As far as narcotics smuggling we get cases like a hearse that has a coffin full of narcotics, that came out in the news so as the smuggling tactics change we need to adjust quickly to adapt to that."
The agents say illegal crossing have been going down but border concerns mean recruitment for new agents is going up.
“It's a phenomenal job, great career and once they are hired and are on duty at the station we set them up with peer mentors to help them assimilate to the local environment."
And the agents hope civilians understand they are your neighbors working to keep the community safe.