Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Patricia A. Lowry, PhD, Chair; Ray Brandes, PhD; Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD


case study, history, law enforcement, Leadership studies, San Diego Police Department, San Diego and Tijuana Border Region, undocumented persons, United States Border Patrol


Large numbers of undocumented persons cross through the hills and canyons along the San Ysidro/Tijuana border region, on a nightly basis. As these helpless victims cross, border bandits and other criminals stalk these people and prey on them like predatory animals. The San Diego Police Department is charged with the responsibility of providing public safety along the United States/México international border. The purpose of this research was to investigate the circumstances which led to the establishment of the San Diego/Tijuana international border (1846-1848), the role and policy of the San Diego Police Department along the international border, and the relationship of the Méxican law enforcement agencies with the San Diego Police Department from 1957 to 1994. The study showed that the international border along the San Ysidro/Tijuana border was created following the Méxican-American War of 1848. The role and responsibility of the San Diego Police Department along the San Ysidro/Tijuana international border grew from 1957 to 1994. In 1957, San Diego Police officers were conducting juvenile inspections at the border. In 1976, San Diego Police officers were assigned to the Border Alien Robbery Task Force, patrolling the canyons and hills along the international border disguised as illegal aliens. These officers worked as team members with agents from the U.S. Border Patrol. The working relationships between these officers and Méxican law enforcement officials were limited. As time went on, the border task force saw different opportunities and different challenges. During the 1980s, the border task force changed their old tactics from working as disguised Méxican aliens to working in full police uniform. In 1990, the border task force began working in a partnership with the Méxican law enforcement task force known as the Beta Group. Officers from both the United States and México developed professional working relationships with each other, improved bi-lateral United States/México relations, and reduced the number of officer-involved shootings and reported violent crimes along the international border.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access