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The Student News Site of Renwick School District

Renwick Review

The Student News Site of Renwick School District

Renwick Review

Getting to Know Garcia

Officer Garcia is the Chief of Police at Garden Plain. You can find him at the school plays, football games, community events, and school zones keeping kids and traffic safe.
Officer+Garcia+at+Coffee+With+a+Cop
Photo contributed by Officer Garcia.
Officer Garcia at Coffee With a Cop

Chief Garcia started his career in law enforcement early on. In college, his starting major was business administration specifically in advertising. He worked at a retail store with police security and became friends with them and listened to them. The job they described sounded interesting and that they did not do the same thing every day.  Fresh out of college, he had his sights set on becoming a Kansas Highway Patrol Officer. After becoming a state trooper, his first assignment was Kingman. Since Garcia was originally from Kansas City, he felt like he was going to the end of the Earth. Garcia worked 27 years as a state trooper and retired as a master trooper. From there, he worked for homeland security in landscaping, but decided it was too boring for him. His introduction into local law enforcement within communities started at Clearwater, where he worked for 8 years, and then continued with Caldwell for another 3 years. This allowed him to qualify for a second retirement.

Park Ranger Garcia

Garcia then moved to Glacier National Park to be a U.S. Park Ranger for 3 seasons. Almost all park rangers are seasonal and live in the park. His new adrenaline rush came from chasing bears out of campgrounds, and to him moose were the new park dinosaurs. As for the tourists, Garcia tried making their vacation as fun and as safe as possible. Glacier Park is considered a dark sky park, and towards the second half of the season the Northern lights fill the sky with shades of emerald green. “We would have nights called star nights, and we would go on top of a mountain to see the lights and the Milky Way. It is pretty amazing because you can see the Milky Way so clearly and it lights up the night like streetlights,” exclaimed Garcia. These nights taught him to identify the constellations and navigate the park at night.

Garcia standing next to the tee-pee he stayed in. (Photo contributed by Garcia.)

East of Glacier Park lies Native American territory called Blackfeet Nation. During his time at the park, Garcia befriended many people in Blackfeet Nation. He learned more about the culture there, and one of the council members invited him to one of the largest privately owned ranches. That specific ranch was home to the largest herd of white bison, and they are very symbolic to the people that live there. When first approaching the bison he was told that they were either going to like him or not like him. “It is said that they can sense if you are a good person or a bad person, and they will bang up against the gate if they do not like you,” said Garcia. That night he got to experience a new thrill of feeding the bison, and sleeping alongside them in an authentic tee-pee.

Garcia decided to take a break from his fourth season at the park. He came home to visit some family, when a council member tapped him on his shoulder and told him that they needed a new chief of police at Garden Plain. As a result, Garcia became the new chief of police. His mission for Garden Plain is to be successful in serving the public and meeting the public’s needs. Garcia prioritizes helping people

Officer Garcia’s passion for backpacking. (Photo contributed by Garcia. )

especially the young and the elderly. “The main reason I focus on the youth is because they have not navigated life yet, and the elderly because they can easily be taken advantage of,” said Garcia. Interacting with people is the highlight of his day, knowing that he helped someone, and that people can trust him brings a smile to his face.

Garcia is also in charge of completing the local law enforcement team in Garden Plain. The search for new employees starts with finding officers with integrity and dedication to helping people. Other skills he looks for includes enforcing the law and abiding by the constitution.

From personal experience, Garcia finds the hardest part about his job is hearing the radio report that someone died. When he is not working he enjoys backpacking, collecting firearms, hunting, and fishing. During Garcia’s time working in law enforcement, he has gained many friends, experienced new things, and made new memories along the way.

Garden Plain Mayor, Kevin Hammond said, “Gene Garcia has been great for our community. He cares about everything and everyone in our community. He’s willing to do anything for the school that will help educate kids, from reading books to the little kids to do demonstrations for the teachers.”

 

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About the Contributor
Camryn Hiner, Garden Plain HS - Renwick Review
This is my first year of participating in Renwick Review. I am not involved with anything at school, but I enjoy playing club softball after school. One thing that I appreciate about the district is the community that makes you feel like family. Sydney Puetz is one person that I admire because she was always a positive and hardworking leader. I want to be an interviewer and photographer.
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