Article and photo by Roger Lanse
The Beat received a report from a motorist driving by at about 2 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 14, of an incident possibly taking place outside the new Santa Clara Administrative Center (old Armory). The motorist reported law enforcement officers pointing pistols through the windows of a U.S. Border Patrol truck with the doors open at a man in a small car, with a black tarp on the ground, possibly a body bag.
“No, we’re just training,” laughed Border Patrol Agent Lionel Reyes. Reyes, out of the Lordsburg Border Patrol office, is the post commander of Law Enforcement Post 883, which trains high school age students, who are interested in making law enforcement a career, in various aspects of law enforcement such as active shooter situations, traffic stops, arrests and development. The training is part of the Boy Scouts of America program, he said.
“Yeah, I’m the group leader,” Reyes kidded. “I get the blame if something goes wrong and if everything goes right I get nothing.”
According to Reyes, Border Patrol agents come up to Silver City most Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to train the students. “But,” he emphasized, “We only use fake plastic pistols.”
The City of Santa Clara cooperates with the group, allowing the Explorers to train in front of their administrative building and allows them inside as well, Reyes said.
Students have to maintain a certain grade-point average to participate in the program, Reyes stated. The students are also training for a competition to be held Apr. 28, in El Paso, called the Desert Law Enforcement Explorers Training Competition. Winners there will go on to compete nationally.