The U.S. Border Patrol is bolstering its Spokane branch.
The federal agency is reopening a station in Spokane and looking to fill about 30 agent positions. The building will be at 10710 N. Newport Hwy, in the Border Patrol headquarters.
Bill Kingsford, Operations Officer for U.S. Border Patrol, said the station is technically up and running now, but all positions should be filled by the end of the year. U.S. Border Patrol has been soliciting the job through USA Jobs, a federal government employment website.
Kingsford said that the reason for the new station isn’t due to any fluctuation in immigration – the number of related arrests has been consistent in the Northwest, he said. Instead, the reopening is occurring so agents won’t have to travel from other stations to get in the Spokane area.
“Their main focus is along the I-90 corridor, between Wenatchee … and going over into Missoula,” Kingsford said.
Kingsford said that along with the new staff comes new 8 or 10 patrol cars.
Agents in Spokane cover about 308 miles of the Canadian border, according to a U.S. Border Patrol news release. “Agents have traditionally worked in Spokane because it is the largest city between Seattle and Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is a major hub in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Additionally, Interstate 90 and Highway 2 are major east/west routes that traverse through Spokane.”
About 10 years ago, the core of the Spokane U.S. Border Patrol’s agents were retiring or transferring, Kingsford said, so Border Patrol decide to shut it down with the idea of reopening years later.
“We have seen a need for this station for some time now,” said Chief Patrol Agent Henry Rolon stated.
The building currently houses about 30 people, but the new additions “are going to make things tighter for us,” Kingsford said.
The building also may get an expansion, but Kingsford said he’s not sure if that will be needed and nothing is planned now.