Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson this week said he has appointed Border Patrol officer Paul Beeson as the director of the joint task force responsible for coordinating the Department of Homeland Security’s activities on the southwest land border.
Beeson succeeds Robert Harris, who became the first Director of Joint Task Force-West two years ago as part of Johnson’s Unity of Effort initiative to break down stovepipes within the department. Harris is retiring from the Border Patrol after 32 years of service.
Beeson’s previous assignments included Commander of the JTF-W Arizona Corridor, and the Chief Border Patrol Agent of the Tucson Sector.
Under the Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Johnson also established Joint Task Force-East, which is led by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Karl Schultz, whose joint operating area includes the Caribbean Ocean, Eastern Pacific Region, and Central America.
Johnson also created Joint Task Force Investigations, which prioritizes and integrates support for criminal investigations along the southern border and approaches. The investigations task force is led by Janice Ayala, special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio, Texas.