MARTINSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT

Officer of the Month

February 2020

Sergeant Andrew Garcia

Sergeant Andrew Garcia has been selected as the Martinsburg Police Department’s Officer of the Month for February, 2020.

An MPD veteran with 12 years on the job who promoted to the rank of sergeant last May, Sergeant Garcia has proven himself to be a conscientious supervisor who focuses on effective police work, officer safety, training, and continuing to build positive relationships between our police and the community.

Andrew’s Shift Commander, Lieutenant Justin Darby, stated, “Sergeant Garcia does an outstanding job handling our shift operations and developing training for our younger officers. He prides himself in knowing the community and solving problems they may face. Andrew always leads by example.”

“Sergeant Garcia…prides himself in knowing the community and solving problems…Andrew always leads by example.”

                                                                                                 Lieutenant Justin Darby


In addition to his well-rounded enforcement activity, Andrew recently played a leadership role in his Shift’s spearheading the shutting down two more drug houses at 311 W. John Street and 117 Whitney Way. The house on Whitney Way had been a particular problem for the entire neighborhood and MPD, with 80 calls for police service within the past 12 months—many of them being drug complaints.  

This problem location had been the focus of patrol and investigations by all MPD Units. On January 7th, Sergeant Garcia obtained a search warrant for the location looking for suspected drugs and a wanted fugitive. Upon making entry, Garcia and other MPD members made three arrests after recovering 30 milligrams of illegally possessed morphine pills and 102 rounds of ammunition.

After conducting an investigation into complaints of illegal drug sales at 311 W. John Street, Sergeant Garcia obtained a search warrant that he and fellow officers executed on January 15th. Inside the residence, Andrew and his fellow officers recovered 177 grams of marijuana, a digital scale, and packaging material used for the sale and distribution of illegal drugs. They arrested four offenders who were charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana.

Upon being presented with the Officer of the Month Award, Sergeant Garcia immediately recognized his fellow officers. “I’m proud to be recognized, but this was a total team effort—not just our Shift, but the entire Department,” said Sergeant Garcia. “Problems like the house on Whitney Way can wreck a neighborhood. When we finally were able to get a search warrant and shut it down, the neighbors on the block were outside thanking us for what we did. That’s a good feeling.”

            “Problems like the house on Whitney Way can wreck a neighborhood…when we finally were able to…shut it down, the neighbors on the block were outside thanking us for what we did. That’s a good feeling.” 

                                                                                                Sergeant Andrew Garcia


Sergeant Garcia says that he has received “really good feedback” from citizens who want to see the police “cleaning up neighborhoods” utilizing the Drug House Ordinance. “MPD is living up to our potential,” stated Sergeant Garcia. “Other cities and states are watching what we are doing in Martinsburg.”

As a Sergeant, Andrew takes his leadership role seriously. “We have a lot of young guys on our Shift—four officers with less than three years with MPD,” Garcia noted. “Roll Call training is really important for improving skills, professionalism, and Officer safety. Our Shift has a strong leadership team and we take turns developing and presenting training.”           

Garcia’s July accomplishments were recognized by MPD’s Chief and Deputy Chief. “This was another great team effort by MPD,” stated Chief Maury Richards”. “Sergeant Andrew Garcia, Lieutenant Justin Darby, Sergeant Eric Neely, and their entire Shift did a great job. Thanks to their great work we have two more Drug Houses shut down and two more problems solved.”

Deputy Chief George Swartwood observed that, “These were two problem buildings that needed action. Sergeant Garcia took a proactive approach that resulted in arrests, recovered illegal drugs, and shutting down two drug houses. This is outstanding police work.”

Through his exceptional dedication, commitment, and effective work in representing the Martinsburg Police Department and serving our community, Sergeant Andrew Garcia has demonstrated a level of excellence far above normal requirements and expectations.

He is awarded Officer of the Month for February, 2020. Congratulations Andrew!

Officer of the Month Award

MPD is recognizing on a monthly basis, both sworn and non-sworn Department members who distinguish themselves by exemplary work and actions beyond the requirements of normal assignments and which represent the highest standards of policing and community service in the Martinsburg Police Department.

The Officer of the Month Award will be granted to a Department member or members whose performance of duty during a specific month was characterized by such exceptional professional skill that it merits recognition by the entire Department.

Criteria to be considered includes outstanding work that: Is varied and challenging; greatly affects people from all walks of life; improves community conditions and quality of life; furthers the ideals and values of the Martinsburg Police Department; achieves significant impact on public safety or crime reduction; resolves problems; brings credit to the Department; demonstrates leadership, initiative, and exceptional professionalism; improves police service to the public; or in other ways advance the goals of MPD.

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Sergeant Andrew Garcia