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MISSION — After nearly three months as the interim chief, the Mission City Council elected Martin Garza as the new chief of the Mission Police Department (MPD).
“This will be a day I will never forget,” he said after officially being sworn in as chief alongside his family on Monday. “I want to thank my colleagues who are here with me today from both local, state and federal agencies. I really appreciate their support.”
Mission Municipal Judge Jonathan Wehrmeister administered the oath as Garza’s wife, Isabel, held the Bible he used for the swearing in ceremony. Afterwards, each of Garza’s four sons Brandon, Cristian, Ryan and William pinned the chief lapel pins to his uniform while Isabel pinned his new chief badge. Pastor Obed Jiminez of El Divino Redemptor Church offered his blessings over the new appointment.
Garza promised to work hard for Mission citizens in the years to come to provide a better quality of life. He then thanked the personnel from other agencies who attended the event saying it was important that all agencies to work together to solve crimes in the Rio Grande Valley. No one agency can do it all by itself. While building relationships was not always easy, the Mission Police Department had been working to build those relationships for the past 20 years.
“People feel more at ease when there is more law enforcement around.” Garza explained. “We have learned to build those working relationships with each other for the good of the people in the Valley. I believe that is the key to successful law enforcement in Mission.”
Garza has been with the department for about 20 years, spending his first eight months as a volunteer before becoming a police officer. In May he will have been a member of the Mission Police Department for 20 years.
When asked about his goals, Garza said he would like to establish an office of professional responsibility that would bring more trust for citizens of Mission. Residents can come and talk to MPD about any concerns they have regarding either an officer or an offense that took place. This new office will look into establishing policies and procedures to assure the actions of the MPD are in compliance with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers in the State of Texas (TCLEOSE) and other state agencies and give citizens the confidence to provide information to the Mission police.
“My goal is for Mission Police Department to be recognized by the state for practicing the best policies that are out there based on a program put together by the Texas Chiefs of Police Association,” said Garza.
Garza recognized that the goals he set for the MPD during his upcoming tenure would not be reached overnight.
The chief explained that the crime rate in Mission was dropping, especially those related to car theft. He said MPD officers were doing the best they could. MPD is also upgrading the Neighborhood Watch Program.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.