Brownsville police chief leaves department, takes-on new role

Brownsville Police Chief Carlos Garcia gave his officers some of last words of wisdom Friday, shortly after announcing that he's retiring from the department after 30 years of service - the last 10, in the top spot.

"Just remind yourselves, that every day that you come to work, you have an opportunity as a police officer to make a difference in somebody's life, Garcia said.

An emotional Garcia told officers he will retire from the department at the end of the year.

But Garcia won TMt be going too far. Instead, he'll take on the role of director of security and chief of police at the Port of Brownsville. He was chosen for the job from about 25 candidates.

Garcia, 53, said he planned to retire from the police department when he turned 55, but when the job at the port became available in August. he took a leap of faith.

"It TMs an opportunity that would not have been there a year and half down the road, Garcia said. It still allows me to be part of law enforcement, it's a different challenge, so it keeps me...still young."

Chief Garcia said he'll oversee a much smaller group of employees, going from over 300 police officers to just about 30, but he doesn't see the new job as easy.

Port CEO Eduardo Campirano said Garcia will have his work cut out for him when he starts his new job on January 3.

"We're getting ready to continue to deploy a very integrated security system|that expanded to include video analytics, video surveillance, more communication, and operability with other departments," Campirano said.

Chief Garcia said one of his proudest accomplishments at the department is lowering crime rates in the past decade.

"We have kept the city safe with the minimal amount of resources, and that's what I take," Garcia said.