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‘I am fate with a badge and a gun.’ GWPD Chief Rey Garcia’s 2013 report reveals a 319 percent spike in city’s felony crime among other dramatic increases.
by Ben Tinsley
Feb 28, 2014 | 62 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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In his January report regarding police activity in 2013, George West Police Chief Rey Garcia combined statistical information and dramatic footage with monologues by Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Harvey.
Ben Tinsley photo In his January report regarding police activity in 2013, George West Police Chief Rey Garcia combined statistical information and dramatic footage with monologues by Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Harvey.
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GEORGE WEST – George West Police Chief Rey Garcia’s departmental report for 2013 begins with a monologue from actor Jake Gyllenhaal and ends on the words of the late conservative American radio broadcaster Paul Harvey.

It’s probably not what one might expect from what is essentially a “state of the union” video account for 2013. There are very dramatic developments accounted in the report—such a 319 percent spike in felony cases; 32 cases in 2012 that rose to 102 in 2013.

The chief’s combination of crime statistics, dramatic video and distinguished verbal narratives includes Gyllenhaal’s monologue in his role as Los Angeles police officer and former Marine Brian Taylor from the 2012 American Thriller drama “End Of Watch.”

“I am the police, and I’m here to arrest you,” the actor intones. “You’ve broken the law. I did not write the law. I may even disagree with the law, but I will enforce it.

“No matter how you plead, cajole, beg or attempt to stir my sympathies, nothing you do will stop me from placing you in a steel cage with gray bars.

“If you run away, I will chase you. If you fight me, I will fight back. If you shoot at me, I will shoot back.

“By law I am unable to walk away. I am a consequence. I am the unpaid bill. I am fate with a badge and a gun.”

And so the mood is set for the annual report, which the chief shared with the city council last month. He also provided a copy of the video report to The Progress.

City Manager Sandra Martinez gives Chief Garcia and his department high marks for this presentation. She said she also is particularly proud of the way the chief and his officers made use of a $55,000 annual grant from Operation Border Star, the current incarnation of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s state-led border security operations. (Also covered in the chief’s report.)

In 2013, the GWPD as part of Operation Border Star drove 19,139 miles as part of this effort, netting 36 arrests, 1,035 citations, 1,820 warnings, and 50 impoundings. Along the way, GW officers encountered nearly 190 undocumented immigrants, 27 of whom absconded.

“The department has gone above and beyond with Border Star,” the city manager said. “And really, much of this is new because of the Eagle Ford Shale flux. There is so much traffic in and out of our city. Our department is doing the best possible job with the resources they have. And really, I feel the chief has taken the police department to another level in our small community—making sure all the local crimes are addressed.”

Chief Garcia’s report covers a lot of ground in a very short amount of time. For instance, it details how the department’s School Resource Officer, GW Police Patrolman Michael Jefferson, worked a total of 1,408 cases in 2013.

Then, it quickly veers to other areas, such as the $4,610,113 in crime-related currency that was seized in 2013.

Drug seizures in George West in 2013, meanwhile, totaled $4,498,136 in street value. This includes the seizure of 1,058.95 pounds of hydroponic marijuana in addition to:

• 8.885 pounds of methamphetamine;

• 24.9 pounds of cocaine;

• 210 grams of heroin;

• 1.8 grams of methadone; and

• 1,000 tabs of Xanax.

While some numbered developments dramatically increased, others actually decreased in 2013. For example, calls to the police in 2013 totaled 3,494, down from 4,782 in 2012.

Additionally, courtesy car unlockings decreased from 304 in 2012 to 257 in 2013.

However, warnings issued by police in 2012 totaled 4,357, and that number increased to 7,225 in 2013.

Citations issued by police increased from 7,545 in 2012 to 8,039 in 2013.

Arrests increased as well, from 427 in 2012 to 457 in 2013.

Of the felony arrests, one particularly memorable incident involved the seizure of 833.75 pounds of marijuana on July 13, 2013. Nabbed by authorities was”Aka El Shadow,” who was carrying the marijuana behind fake walls in a special horse trailer pulled by pickup truck.

Another interesting report tidbit: Inside the 12 miles that comprise George West, officers drove 85,783 miles in 2012 and 96,028 in 2013—an average of 263 miles a day. (The equivalent of an officer driving to Hillsboro every day.)

As the video presentation set to conclude, viewers were treated to the dulcet tones of the late great Paul Harvey outlining the ever-present mystique and conundrum of the American police officer:

“A policeman is a composite of what all men are – a mingling of saint and sinner, dust and deity …”

“ … The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman.

“And, of course, he has to be a genius—for he has to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.”

Reporter Ben Tinsley can be contacted by email at theprogress@mysoutex.com or by phone at 361-786-3022. Tinsley can also be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/BenTinsley or on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/ben.tinsley.12.
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