While Lt. Noel Garcia was being slowly introduced by Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski, the word “passionate” was used quite often to describe the 25 years Lt. Garcia spent working as a Police Officer. Whether he was policing the North Side of Lansing, helping organize the Police Athletic League or Gus Maker teams which served youth, or becoming known to many as someone they could trust, Mr. Garcia was passionate when it came to engaging the community and especially its youth. Lt. Noel Garcia has decided to retire from the Lansing Police Department after 25 years of service. Garcia has served as a supervisor for his department’s tactical team, patrol unit, Investigations Division and Internal Affairs unit. He also has served as a community policing officer and public information officer, and is an adjunct professor at Baker College and Ferris State University’s Lansing campus. He currently Chairs the Board of Directors at Cristo Rey Community Center. Mr. Garcia spoke of leaving his LPD family and his career and appeared to have notes written but quickly dismissed them as thoughts of leaving the Police Force overtook him and he chose to keep his composure.
When reflecting upon his career highlights he mentioned about a specific Gus Macker team he put together that traveled between Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Although they won many trophies, the time spent with these youth left a lasting impact on these young men who showed up for the retirement party. They apparently gave Noel an up close view of something he cherished and has thrived in: being a mentor. A chance to lead the Law Enforcement program at the Ingham Intermediate Schools Capital Area Career Center came up recently and Noel seen it as a way to continue working with youth and at the same time be able to devote more time to his family with summers off. While the decision to leave his LPD Family was tough, he challenged them to answer his call when he needs them to come and speak to his future students. Meanwhile his boys whom he candidly called “always saints” will get to enjoy Dad just a little bit more as Noel begins a new career.
Editors note: About five years ago my son was brought home by an officer after he took off with my car, ran a stop sign and almost broad sided a different officers police car. All I knew was my son had almost hit a Police Lieutenant. I showed my son this article a few hours before I published it and he then told me “that’s the officer that I almost hit. He told me what I did wrong, but then mostly talked about being a better person for my father, making wise decisions and getting a drivers license”. From this editor to Mr. Noel Garcia, thank you for speaking to my son. To many of us, you will always be one of Lansing’s finest. For more information about the program that Mr. Noel Garcia will be leading please go to:http://www.inghamisd.org/cacc/futurestudents/programsbypathways/humanservices/lawenforcement/