Retired Chief Patrol Agent John Bates, who led the Detroit and Blaine sectors during his 30-year career, passed away on Monday.
Bates joined the Border Patrol in 1985 in San Clemente, Calif., and spent 13 years as a frontline agent. He then went into management at the regional level, working on national initiatives partnering with other federal, state, and private stakeholders.
Before his retirement in 2015, Bates oversaw more than 300 employees in the Blaine Sector, which includes Alaska, Oregon, and the western part of Washington.
As a strong proponent of “whole of government” problem-solving, Bates led the formation of the Pacific Northwest Interagency Taskforce (PNIT). He also expanded the communications staff in the sector from six to 19.
He also served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1982-89.