Sergeant Jorge Luis "JL" Garcia Pharr Police Department, Texas End of Watch: Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sergeant Jorge Luis Pharr Police Department, Texas

Sergeant Jorge Luis "JL" Garcia

Pharr Police Department, Texas
End of Watch: Thursday, August 8, 2013

Biographical Info

Age: 51
Tour of Duty: 27 years
Badge Number: 1239

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: August 8, 2013
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Agency Contact Information

Police Chief Ruben Villescas
Pharr Police Department
1900 South US 281
Pharr, TX 78577
Phone: (956) 402-4700

Sergeant JL Garcia was killed in an automobile accident while en route to a meeting at the Pharr International Bridge.
His vehicle was struck by a dump truck at the intersection of South Cage Boulevard and East Anaya Road at approximately 3:50 pm. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries about one hour later.
Sergeant Garcia had served with the Pharr Police Department for 27 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

PHARR — A call sign unanswered and a horse without a rider marked the end of Pharr police Sgt. Jorge Luis “JL” Garcia’s watch on Tuesday.

Garcia, 51, died Friday in a two-vehicle collision with a dump truck at the intersection of Anaya Road and Cage Boulevard in Pharr.

Described by his peers as a caring mentor and leader, Garcia began his career as a police officer at the TSTC Harlingen campus, later working for the City of Santa Rosa, according to his obituary. He joined the Pharr Police Department in 1986 and was promoted to sergeant in 2007.

Alejandro Navarro, 22, was one of 12 South Texas College police academy cadets at the funeral Tuesday who study in Pharr. He said he never met Garcia, but heard he was a great leader.

“All the cadets came because we want to be what he was,” Navarro said. “He was a sergeant; somebody you look up to. We all want to be there. We dream about being where he was.”

Originally from San Benito, Garcia graduated from the high school there in 1981 and attended Texas Southmost College in Brownsville, where he studied criminal justice.

At the cemetery, a mass of officers — some with black ribbons over their badges — attended Garcia’s funeral at Trinity Worship Center and his burial at Palm Valley Memorial Gardens, both in Pharr.

Agencies at the federal, state, county and local level — from Peñitas to South Padre Island and most of the cities in between — paid respects in uniform, saluting the fallen officer.

A vehicle with the Texas Municipal Police Association also arrived. Garcia is a former president of the TMPA organization in Pharr.

The City of Pharr blocked a lane with traffic cones for the dozens of marked law enforcement units that made up Garcia’s funeral procession.

On Tuesday, the Pharr Police Department did not respond to a call seeking an update on the investigation into what may have caused the wreck. But in a news release immediately following the wreck, the department said the sergeant was driving a red Ford Ranger that collided with the other vehicle. The dump truck’s driver, a 55-year-old man, asked to be taken to a local hospital, where he was treated and released, officials said.

Police said Garcia had been driving to a meeting at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge to discuss operations with officers under his command.

Auto wrecks were second only to being shot as the cause of death among law enforcement in 2012, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Garcia’s other duties with the department included emergency management and hurricane preparedness, as well as field training and instructing officers on when to use force, Pharr police Chief Ruben Villescas said last week.

Rifles sounded and the lonely notes of taps played by two trumpets drifted in the air Tuesday.

Villescas presented Garcia’s family with the U.S. flag that draped his casket. His call sign sounded for the last time; attendees openly wept.

As bagpipes played, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter flew overhead. Moments before, mourners were told Garcia would live on.

“He is alive in many of you, who he so loved,” the burial officiant said.


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