From the Publisher of
Quartzsite's FREE Community Paper -
Quartzsite news, events and entertainment published 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, Sept. thru May.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Letter to Editor: Thank you to Chief Jeff Gilbert and Officer Fabiola Garcia
Editor’s note: the following incident took place on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at Hadlock’s RV Park in Quartzsite. This sad story is about the death of a woman living alone in an RV Park. As summer approaches it is very important for all RV Park Owners/Managers AND Neighbors to be aware of those living alone!
If you haven't seen your neighbor for a couple of days, and you know they're not on vaction, please feel free to call Quartzsite Police for a welfare check. Quartzsite Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Town of Quartzsite maintain a CareWatch Program. For more information contact Quartzsite Town Hall at 928-927-4333.
Also if you are going on vacation, you can contact Citizens On Patrol (COPs) and they will check on your home during their rounds. These caring volunteers will also check in on housebound folks once a week.
BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR!
Quartzsite Police Department at 928-927-4644,
during 8-5 Mon-Fri..
After hours contact La Paz County Sheriff's Dispatch at
Call 911 in an emergency!
To the citizens of Quartzsite;
Stories are circulating about how the police handled a welfare
check call, being spread by someone that was not present. Only three members of this community truly know what went on at the trailer and only one knows how the other officers involved handled the situation. I am that person. I made the call and the police officers were both professional and courteous and I am the one who also put in a request to Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert, receiving a call within 10-15 minutes, he fulfilled my request.
When Officer Fabiola Garcia, myself, and two other gentlemen arrived, we found the door locked. We looked around, but was able to slide open the window next to the door. Officer Garcia attempted to enter through the window, but her service belt and equipment prevented it. I climbed on a chair and was able to get half my body through the window, and was able to unlock the door. Officer Garcia entered the trailer.
My anger started to build; why did this woman have to lie dead for 6 days? Officer Garcia stepped out and had the woman’s cell phone in her hand. I asked Garcia if she had gone through anything for information on contacting relatives. She replied she had not because she felt that it wasn’t right and that hopefully the cell phone would have some information. At that point, my anger had reached a boiling point and my mind was made up of actions I would take. I yelled as loud as I could, expressing my hate and what I planned to do. As I looked again at Officer Garcia, my heart stopped. I saw a bit of sadness, complete compassion and respect for the deceased and her property. I took a deep breath and apologized to her for my outburst, telling her I was going home.
I wrote three letters that night to my sister, Chief Gilbert and one to myself. The image I will carry that is burned deep into my heart and mind is of Officer Garcia at the moment when if I had followed through with my plans, I would now be setting in jail, would never again enjoy a long daily walk in the peace and solitude in the desert. I would have caused my dog to be put down, because she wouldn’t allow anyone else to be near her. I know that when I reach that critical point again, that image will come up and I pray to God I let it work on me the way it did that night.
To Chief Gilbert and the officer who took my call;
I want to thank you for your professionalism and kindness to me.
To Officer Garcia; of all the things that have happened in my life, nothing has affected me and made such a profound impression on me as the image burned in my soul and mind.
You have accomplished what all the medical professionals have tried for years.