The new El Centro sector U.S. Border Patrol chief spoke of his general goals for maintaining and improving the department during a press conference Thursday.
Kenneth Stitt, a former assistant chief patrol agent in the San Diego sector, officially assumed his duties here Tuesday.
Saying the agency has "a lot of challenges ahead of us," Stitt plans to look at the Border Patrol's resources and determine if they are being utilized to their best extent.
Stitt said he wants to continue looking at methods of maintaining and improving border control.
"Deterring people from coming in is most important," Stitt said.
"In the long run, that's the way to minimize the tragedies," he said.
The cooperation of law enforcement officials on both sides of the border will be necessary to successfully counter illegal immigration, Stitt said.
"I believe we can work with the Mexican officials," Stitt said in response to a reporter's question regarding the integrity of Mexican officials.