Marion police chief to retire in January

Feb 18, 2020

MARION — After 34 years of service with the police department, including two years of service as its Chief since 2017, John Garcia will retire Jan. 2, 2021.

The chief announced the news at a Feb. 18 Board of Selectmen meeting.

In a letter notifying Selectmen of his intent to retire, Garcia said that it was a privilege to serve as a chief in a community that he knew so well. He also said that the collective relationships between departments in the town enrich lives, and that he will look back fondly on his time in Marion. 

Town Administrator Jay McGrail said that he wanted to publicly thank Garcia, and that he would leave “big shoes to fill.” 

Selectman Randy Parker called the announcement, “a sad moment,” adding that the chief “had done great things and been here a long time.” 

His fellow Selectman John Waterman commented to the chief that he always had “a quiet way about you,” and said it took him a while to realize “what a great person you are.”

Norm Hills was the final Selectman to comment and called the chief’s 34 years with the town “a hell of a commitment.” 

Garcia was promoted to sergeant with the department in 2000 and lieutenant in 2004.

He founded and led the search and rescue team, and led the charge to get the department accredited. Additionally, he has specialized training to better serve citizens with Alzheimer’s.

The Marion Chief was also recently recognized for his work with the Plymouth County Outreach program, which offers residents who overdose additional support to prevent future incidents. He spoke at a national conference on the program.

The news comes at a time when the Police Department is already down two members.

Garcia hopes that with ten months notice the town will be able to complete the search process before January 2021 and avoid appointing an acting chief for the department.

His department also has an accreditation assessment scheduled for December of this year, and Garcia plans to be there for the assessment process.