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Redwood City Police Department
Wednesday May 8th, 2013 :: 07:11 a.m. PDT


The Redwood City Police Department Honors the Memory of Sergeant George Garrett: EOW May 8, 1981

Today, the men and women of the Redwood City Police Department will honor the sacrifice made 32 years ago by Sergeant George Garrett who was killed in the line of duty. All ranks of sworn officers will be out on patrol, working the Detective Bureau and running every operation in the organization in their Class "A" uniforms to honor the End of Watch (EOW) anniversary of Sergeant Garrett's death. The flags in front of our building will be flown at half staff and all of our shifts will be briefed by Command Staff sharing the story of Sergeant Garrett’s death.

Thank you Sergeant George Garrett for your service and sacrifice--you will not be forgotten.
Your Redwood City Police Family

Sergeant George Leon Garrett, Jr.
Badge #5
Tour of Duty: 1973 – May 8, 1981
On Friday, May 8, 1981, at 12:04 PM, Redwood City Dispatch received a phone call advising of a possible bomb threat inside Bank of America located at 110 California Street. The call was followed by silent alarm activation two minutes later. Four plain clothes officers from the Vice/Intelligence/Narcotics unit responded to the bank from the police department which was then located at 1020 Middlefield Road. Sergeant George Garrett arrived first and entered the bank through the Winklebleck Street doors. Business appeared to be normal. Detective Dale Switzer arrived in another car with Detective Ron Brooks and the driver, Detective Robert Peele. Detective Switzer went in the El Camino doors followed seconds later by Detective Brooks. Detective Peele parked the car and notified dispatch of their arrival. The bank was crowded with customers. Sergeant Garrett walked to the desk of the branch manager, Sylvia Harris, where another man was sitting. Garrett put his hand on the man’s shoulder, asked him how he was doing, and the man immediately pulled a gun from his waistband. As he did so, Garrett reached across the desk and pushed Miss Harris out of the line of fire as he was reaching for his own gun. The man jumped up and shot Garrett once between the eyes and once in the chest. The suspect started to walk away as Switzer ran toward him. Switzer and Brooks opened fire on the suspect with Switzer killing him. As the shots rang out, Peele entered the bank from El Camino side and was told by Brooks to summon an ambulance. As Peele ran out the Winklebleck side doors (detectives did not have portable radios at that time), he was mistaken for a suspect and shot twice in the arm by patrol officers who had responded to the bank.

The funeral for Sergeant Garrett was attended by 1,400 guests, most of which were police officers in full dress uniform. He was buried at Skyline Memorial Park. He was portrayed as a hero who took the time to shove a bank employee out of the line of fire before turning to face the robber. He was praised for his extensive work with the community’s youth, having given narcotics presentations to various school and public groups on his own time.

The suspect was identified as Raleigh Porsche, age 36. Porsche was an ex-convict released in a Mexican prisoner exchange program. He was later connected to two other bank robberies.

Sergeant Garrett is the only officer murdered in the line of duty in the department’s history. Thirty nine years old, Garrett was survived by his wife, who was eight months pregnant with their first child. Nineteen days after his murder, his daughter Nicole was born. In July 1981, city officials dedicated George L. Garrett Junior Memorial Park in his honor. On this date, May 8th, the thirty first anniversary of his death, we remember and honor our Brother Officer, George Garrett.

Redwood City Police Department
1301 Maple St
Redwood City, CA 94063

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-780-7100

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