Ray Garner Selected as New LPD Chief
The city of Laredo has found it's new police chief.
The nine-month search is over as UISD Police Chief Ray Garner will now take over as the Laredo Police Department chief.
Garner started his career in law enforcement back in 1972 for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Chief Garner spent over 20 years training current officers at the South Texas Police Academy before becoming UISD’s police chief in 2009.
He will now take over for interim Chief Navarro.
Selecting the next police chief wasn’t at all an easy process for the Laredo city council.
When the item was brought up Monday night, city councilman Charlie San Miguel moved to table the item.
But after a shocked response by the majority of the council, they voted five to three to move on with the process.
Three candidates made their ten-minute presentation in front of council.
Deputy Chief Gabriel Martinez has been with the Laredo Police Department for about 27 years and was the first to present.
Martinez concentrated on bettering the police department by increasing officers, being active in the community and using technology to it's full advantages.
"One of the things I think we need to take advantage of is social media. That's something we need to use to benefit the community. The third thing is working smarter. Look for technology and using it more efficient in what we're doing in the police."
The second candidate, deputy chief Guillermo Perez has spent 26 years in the Laredo police department.
Perez talked about several issues he would like to improve in the department.
He used a lot of allotted time to discuss the importance of transparency.
"Three things of course transparency, training and technology. I feel today we are no longer with the traditional times, we need to reach out to receiver that collaboration from the public."
Current UISD Police Chief Ray Garner was the last finalist for the position.
Garner has spent over 40 years in law enforcement, including 24 years training officers at the South Texas Police Academy.
He said he has trained about 90-percent of the officers who are currently in the police force today and would be accessible to both the officers and public.
"I've been successful because I build teams. Right now we're protecting 43,000 students and a lot of parents and a lot of property. With that experience and knowledge I have of Laredo PD things will work out."
Garner also holds a master’s degree.
These candidates were chosen out of over twenty candidates who applied for the police chief.