Manuel Padilla Jr., a native of Southern Arizona, was appointed chief of the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, federal authorities announced Wednesday.
Padilla has more than 26 years with the Border Patrol, including serving as the Tucson Sector's acting chief since October 2012. He had become deputy chief in November 2011.
The Tucson Sector has more than 4,500 employees who are responsible for securing 262 miles of the U.S.-Mexican border, extending from the New Mexico state line to the Yuma County line.
Padilla replaced Chief Richard A. Barlow, who accepted a position at Border Patrol Headquarters in Washington, D.C., as chief of Strategic Planning, Policy and Analysis Division.
Padilla said in a news release that the "Tucson Sector remains committed to serving the communities" and "our agents are dedicated to maintaining a safe and secure border environment."
He served in the Army for two years before he began his career with the Border Patrol in August 1986, serving at the Sierra Blanca Border Patrol Station in Texas' Big Bend Sector, then known as the Marfa Sector.
In August 1990, he became a member of the Border Patrol's Tactical Unit, eventually teaching police forces tactical procedures in Bolivia, El Salvador and Guatemala, according to the release.
Before coming to Tucson, Padilla was chief for the New Orleans Sector.