Policing is about giving back to the community, says Police Sergeant Garcia White
‘I enjoy giving something to my community – even if some of them don’t appreciate it!’ says Police Sergeant Garcia White.
There are not many people who will happily say that they are living the dream but Police Sergeant Miguel Garcia White seems to be one of the lucky ones – and he is not afraid who knows it.
“I feel fulfilled in my life choices because, by being an RGP officer, I have definitely found my calling. I’m sure that I will stay in policing until I reach retirement age in 17 years’ time - simply because I get so much satisfaction from what I do every day. My wife tells me that she can’t imagine me ever wanting to do anything else.”
Miguel is half-English, half-Spanish and married to a Gibraltarian. He spent much of his youth in Newcastle on Tyne before joining the Royal Gibraltar Regiment on the advice of his brother who was already serving with the RG. Being completely bilingual in English and Spanish has been a real asset to him – both in the Regiment and later in the RGP.
“It was my time in the Regiment where I learned my values and standards,” says Miguel. “It also gave me some good life experiences. I enjoyed several exercises in Morocco and in the UK but I felt I wanted more of a mental challenge so, in 2011, I joined the RGP. I finished my time in the Army on the Friday and started my police training on the Monday. At the time, the RGP were just changing their legal guidelines from the old ‘Judges Rules’ to the new Police and Criminal Evidence Act and so my Training School had to be extended by several extra weeks to learn all the new procedures.”
“Since I joined, I’ve spent time in a Response Team and also in CID where I was a member of the teams which investigated both the Leishman and Montegriffo murders as well as the Boschetti Steps case.”
“But I have spent most of my career in the Money Laundering Investigation Unit which required me to attend some intensive courses in UK run by the National Crime Agency. The RGP’s Commissioner of Police recently presented me with a Commendation Certificate for the work I’d undertaken over two years in a £2,000,000 money laundering case.”
“I am also a trained Close Protection Officer and I have worked on several VIP visits to the Rock, including that of Prince Edward when he was here in June of last year.”
To bring the story up-to-date, Miguel’s current role is that of the Crown Sergeant in Response Team 4 and so he is responsible for the day-to-day running of the team.
“This includes the officers’ welfare needs as well as all operational aspects of their work. It is very different to my past jobs as a detective where much of my work went unseen. As the leader of a Response Team, my decisions are often very visible to the public and to other officers.”
“But I do enjoy having a leadership role and I get a great deal of satisfaction from developing officers and their careers.”
It is abundantly clear that Miguel is very happy in his job but, surely, there must be some downsides?
“I do regret having to spend so much time away from my family,’ he says. ‘I don’t have many hobbies – I enjoy playing football but my most rewarding hobby is looking after my girls aged 15, 13 and 2. Sometimes this job prevents me from being with them on their big days – and that is something that I really regret.”
Despite the pressures of family life, Miguel is keen to recommend a policing career to anyone who will listen.
“I have certainly had the mental challenges that I was looking for when I joined the police and I am still hoping to be promoted so that my ideas can effect change in the best way possible,” he says.
“I know this sounds corny but my job satisfaction comes from giving something back to my community – even if some of them don’t appreciate it!”
This feature was prepared by the Royal Gibraltar Police as part of a campaign to highlight the work of its officers.