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Archive for August 19th, 2021

35-Year-Old Border Patrol Agent at McCallen Station Dies; CBP Grieves

Photo illustration: CBP

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent assigned to the McAllen Station died earlier this week, CBP announced Wednesday. 

Agent Ricardo Zarate, who began his career with CBP in 2009, passed away Monday. 

“I am deeply saddened to share the loss of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Ricardo Zarate,” Troy A. Miller, acting CBP commissioner, said on Twitter.  

“With a heavy heart, we regret to announce the line-of-duty death of Border Patrol Agent Ricardo Zarate,” CBP said in a statement. “Agent Zarate entered on duty on February 12, 2009, as part of session 922. We will never forget.”

CBP didn’t divulge details of his death, including the cause. 

Zarate was a husband and father, according to a death notice. 

Vote for TSA’s Cutest Canine on Social Media Today

Alona is one of four finalists for the TSA’s cutest canine. Photo: TSA

By Steve Neavling

The Transportation Security Administration’s four-legged workers are a vital part of keeping travelers safe at airports, sniffing out drugs and explosives.  

And they sure are cute.

The TSA is holding an online contest for its cutest dog, and voting is today, which is National Dog Day.

The four finalists are Alona, a golden retriever from the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport; Lexi, a Belgian Malinois from Dallas – Fort Worth International Airport (DFW); Badger, a Belgian Malinois from Chicago O’Hare International Airport; and Lexa, a German Shepard from DFW.

You can cast a vote for your cutest canine on Instagram , Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Voting ends at midnight tonight.

The TSA has more than 1,000 canines paired with handlers. 

“TSA’s working canines play an important role in the agency’s security operations across the country. We are so fortunate to have Alona and her handler Vanessa as a member of our team in Las Vegas,” Karen Burke, TSA federal security director in Las Vegas, said in a statement. “Alona is not only very skilled as a working dog, but she is also a worthy competitor in this year’s Cutest Canine contest. I’ll be voting for Alona and I hope you will join me in voting for her, too.”

Want to see some other furry cuties? Check out the TSA 2021 calendar.