Border Patrol history includes prior funding issues

KDBC
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 10:31pm

The government shutdown has caused speculation paychecks could be delayed for government employees as the deadlock continues in congress.

One of the agencies that could be greatly affected is Border Patrol and it wouldn't be the first time funding has affected the agency in its long history.

"The guys would be given two or three days a week without pay," said Brenda Tisdale, Museum Administrator at the National Border Patrol Museum in Northeast El Paso.

With a background that dates to 1904, when agents were known as mounted guards, to now more than a hundred years later, border patrol has been through a lot including several government shutdowns.

In the 1970's the government experienced six shutdowns that significantly affected the agency's funding.

"They were only allowed to drive one vehicle per shift and limited miles with that one vehicle," Tisdale said.

Before his passing, Tisdale was married to Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gerald Tisdale who founded the National Canine Facility out of Fort Bliss.

She said she remembers the deportation bus was used to transport agents from the station to their post and pick up the previous shift to reduce costs.

With furlough days, money did get tight and Tisdale recalls negotiating with creditors.

"We had to go and actually address them to have our payments lowered," she said.

But even when the going got rough her husband always took pride in his work.

"He would come home starving to death when I would pack him a big lunch and a big jug of iced tea because people that he'd catch were hungry," she said.

While times now are considerably different, Tisdale believes current Border Patrol agents will continue to uphold traditions and continue serving to the best of their ability,even if for now funding is uncertain.

The museum is not federally funded and will remain open regulars hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

National Border Patrol Museum
4315 Woodrow Bean Transmountain Rd
(915) 759-6060

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