Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Command of Yuma Sector a homecoming for Border Patrol chief

In what made for a homecoming, a Yuma native and Kofa High graduate has been chosen to command the Border Patrol's Yuma Sector.

Chief Patrol Agent Stephen Martin, who assumed command in April, was appointed by Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin.

“For more than 26 years, Chief Martin has served in diverse and challenging operational and administrative positions, and met those challenges with proven leadership and professional competence,” Bersin said in a statement to all employees.

Martin added that he is ready to become part of what he calls “the finest sector in the Border Patrol.”

“I'm excited to be back in Yuma. I've been gone a long time but it's just like I remember it and I feel very fortunate to be home again.”

Martin began his career in 1985 as a member of Border Patrol Academy Class 173. His first duty assignment was the Douglas Station in Arizona, where he was promoted to senior patrol agent, supervisory Border Patrol agent and received the patrol's highest honor for bravery and heroism: the Newton-Azrak Award.

After transferring to the El Centro Sector, he named patrol agent in charge of the Calexico, Calif., Station, ultimately being promoted to assistant chief patrol agent of the El Centro Sector.

Martin served in that capacity until 2008, when he became deputy division chief for the Office of Border Patrol's Southwest Border Division in Washington, D.C. He also attended the Executive Fellows Program at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

James Gilbert can be reached at or 539-6854.

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