WASHINGTON, Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patrolling the border is a dangerous job. Just ask Shawn Moran, a Border Patrol agent for the past 17 years who also serves as vice president of the American Federation of Government Employees' National Border Patrol Council.
While guarding the 60 miles of border between Mexico and the San Diego metro area, Moran and his fellow agents have been targeted numerous times by rock throwers from across the border. Once, he was almost beamed by a large rock while his attention was focused on two groups attempting to cross the border simultaneously from different locations.
"A softball size rock just sailed inches from my face. I never saw where it came from, never saw the person who threw it," Moran said. "Somebody that was on the south side of Mexico saw an opportunity to take a shot at me. Luckily they missed, because it would have done some serious damage."
Moran shared his story while standing outside Roberto's Gate, a vehicle gate at the Chula Vista Station that is named for Border Patrol Agent Roberto J. Duran, who was killed in the line of duty in 2002. The gate is manned around the clock by stationary agents, whose primary purpose is to deter drug and human trafficking into the country.
Moran's interview is the first in a series of videos AFGE will be issuing in the coming weeks highlighting Border Patrol agents, specifically the often harsh realities of securing the southern U.S. border.
Subsequent videos in the series, entitled "Walking the Line," will address:
- The dangers of working on the border;
- The humanitarian efforts of our officers toward detainees;
- The role of the union in improving working conditions for agents.
The border between Mexico and San Diego is a highly urban area that was sparsely monitored prior to the launch of Operation Gatekeeper during the 1990s. Agents now are posted around the clock in strategic locations along the border, often working between two rows of fences to deter illegal border crossings.
"It's a double-edged sword. Because while it's great to have agents in there to provide that mission and accomplish that mission, the problem we have is that when the attacks do come, there's very little means of retreat and the ability to get to a safe area quickly," Moran said.
AFGE's National Border Patrol Council is the exclusive representative for more than 17,000 Border Patrol agents and support personnel.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees