EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — There’s a new chief in town, but she is s no stranger to the Rio Grande Valley.
Originally from Brownsville, Chief Gloria Chavez now leads The Rio Grande Valley Sector, which has nine stations, two checkpoints, air and marine operations, and an intelligence office.
“This is my 27th year in the United States Border Patrol and I still have that energy from when I started this career until now, but more so now because I’m home,” said Chavez.
Throughout her career, Chavez has been stationed all over the country, including Washington D.C., El Paso, California, and even the Northern border.
“I’ve had four sectors under my command, so I think I’m ready for the RGV and I’m really happy to be here,” said Chavez.
It’s been six weeks since Chavez returned home and is ready to get to work.
The top three items on her to-do list are increasing personnel, intelligence, and improving community within the agency and among other law enforcement partners.
“My number one priority is that my agents get home safely every night, my priority is to talk to those stakeholders that can provide that environment for them,” said Chavez.
The chief said she also plans to add resources to support the agents’ well-being.
“To me mental health is important, I want them to be okay, I want them to know there’s a solution and it’s already in the works, I’m ramping up suicide prevention,” said Chavez.
The bottom line is the new chief is focused on ensuring support is always available to the men and women in green, regardless of their shift or years of service.
“I want them to know their chief is behind them 100%, their chief is very proud of the work they do every day, when they hurt I hurt- when they succeed- I succeed. I have their back,” said Chavez.
Less than 5% of the United States Border Patrol are women.
Less than 1% of them hold leadership roles.
Chief Chavez falls under that 1%.
“We’re the same, we’re equal, whether you’re a man or a woman,” said Chavez, “We’re very proud as woman agents that we hold the same standard as the male agents. We graduated all with the same standards, the same curriculum as the men and I’m proud I earned it just like they did.”
The Brownsville native already has several projects in the works, including adding a fallen agent memorial outside of the RGV Sector Headquarters in Edinburg.