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New police officer hired in Galena

Officer Vincent Garay with the Hawk Highlights staff during his interview in class.

Officer Vincent Garay with the Hawk Highlights staff during his interview in class.

By TIRZAH BRYANT, staff writer

Vincent Garay, the community’s new police officer, started working in Galena in January.

Mr. Garay is 53 years old and came from Bellingham, Wash., to work here. He grew up in the Philippines and was a police officer there for eight years before coming to the U.S., in 2000, where he has been working ever since.

“I plan to stay here until I retire,” said Mr. Garay.

While he is here he plans to get to know the community and show them that he is here to help and protect them and that he will treat everyone fairly.

“This is… the only community where I felt very welcome,” said Mr. Garay about what he thought of the community of Galena so far.

He said he would also like to focus a lot of his time on the students of the Galena City School District and GILA because most of the calls he has received since coming here have been about students in the dorms. In the previous places he has lived and worked in, he spent a lot of time with kids on programs like the Great Project where he helped prevent kids from joining gangs in Washington.

He would like to spend time talking to kids and would like to make it a point to come to the students lunch breaks, talk to classes, and attend public events such as basketball games. Mr. Garay talked about starting a club if students are interested where they would do things like starting a shooting range. He stays fit by participating in Kung Fu and Tai Chi and is open to helping anyone interested in learning it.

Mr. Garay said he is open to calls involving questions on any of these subjects or anything else. His non-emergency number is 656-7177.