FAMILY - FRIENDS - COMMUNITY - SERVICE
In early March 1980, Luiz Daniel Garcia was born to Teresa and Candido Garcia, a young, hard-working Hispanic couple from Puerto Rico. Born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a tough town known for its industrial warehouses and mills, Luiz would come to resemble that very town — tough, determined, and always willing to go the extra mile. He would go on to become a high school and college graduate, dedicated family man, United States Sailor, Iraq war veteran, Police Officer, and Detective – with plans to retire from the United States Navy and dreams of becoming the Mayor in his home town.
As a young boy, Luiz saw his parents taking pride in working hard everyday of their lives, and he took it upon himself to mirror their pride and dedication - always active in volunteering to help out in any way he could. There was one time in particular that forever solidified his devotion to helping others. One night as a teenager, Luiz was racing home on his bicycle - his mother always required that he be home before the street lamps turned on. As he sped across the 8th Street Bridge, Luiz passed a woman standing in the middle of the bridge. He noticed she was clutching a cloth in her right hand, and his senses told him something was not right. He knew he was going to be late, but without hesitation, he turned around and drove back to the woman.
She was crying and smelled of alcohol. Luiz asked her if she was OK. She looked at him puzzled and said, “You stopped and asked me if I was OK.” Luiz replied, “Yes Ma’am, are you OK?” She then confessed to him that she was going to jump off the bridge because of all the problems in her life. Luiz then asked the woman what her name was, and she said “Noel” —the name would forever be imbedded in his mind and heart. He then took the time to speak to Noel and try to get her off the bridge. He finally convinced her to go together to a nearby pay phone so he could call his mother because he was going to be late. When they got to the phone, instead of calling his mother, Luiz called the Police to help him with Noel. The Police arrived and escorted her away.
Just a young teenager, Luiz did not have to stop. But something inside told him to help, and that’s what he has done his entire life. He did not know at the time that he would become a public servant, but this was the start, and hardly a day has gone by since then that he hasn’t been convincing someone to make better decisions. He has served in every capacity he could.
Luiz started working at the age of 14 at Rita’s Italian Ice in Allentown. At the age of 19, he received his first leadership position, becoming the manager at the same Rita’s Italian Ice store. He attended William Allen High School, where he played varsity basketball for three years for current head coach Doug Snyder. After graduating, one of his co-workers spoke to him about joining the military, and after discussing it with his parents, Luiz decided to join the United States Navy. Enlisting in August, 2001, just days before the tragic events of 9/11, he entered the Navy's delayed entry program in Allentown PA. Upon completing boot camp as the top fitness performer in his class, he was assigned to the USS Trenton LPD-14 as an Engineer. He arrived at his first Command in December, 2001, thoroughly motivated and excited about his new career. He quickly qualified as messenger of the watch, boiler tech, and cold iron watch, and in 2002, he completed a Mediterranean Cruise with the USS Trenton, which took him to several foreign countries. He would receive his first Navy Achievement Medal during his tour on the USS Trenton for his work in #1 MMR boiler space operations, and he went on to receive four more Navy Achievement Medals and many accolades for his dedication and performance.
Luiz then decided he wanted to become a military police officer, thus embarking upon his Law Enforcement career. Working during his off time with the Chief Master at Arms of the ship, he soon completed the program and received a letter of recommendation from the Chief to go to the Navy Police Academy. Upon graduating from the U.S. Naval Military Police Academy, he made rank and received his first set of Crows as a 3rd Class Petty Officer. He continued his Navy career at his 2nd Command — Sewell’s Point Police Precinct, in Norfolk, Virginia — where he became a patrolmen and guard sentry.
After excelling in the Navy and completing his five-year active service enlistment with an Honorable discharge in 2006, he decided to continue his military career and join the Navy Reserve. As a reservist, Luiz worked at Little Creek Police Department located on Little Creek Fort Story Naval base in Norfolk, VA. (He also was deployed in 2008 to Iraq, where he would receive an Army Achievement Medal and Army Commendation Medal for his leadership shown in Camp Bucca, Iraq.) After becoming the Leading Petty Officer of his unit as a 2nd Class Petty Officer, Luiz was not satisfied to stay in just one unit. He interviewed in 2010 to become part of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), and he successfully completed all aspects of the interview and credential phase, receiving an invitation to become an NCIS investigator for the U.S. Navy. During his time at NCIS, Luiz held leadership positions, and he is currently assigned to NCIS DC headquarters. During his tenure at NCIS Luiz, received Sailor of the Year and three Navy Achievement Medals for his work on high-profile criminal cases. Assigned to the Special Victims Unit, Luiz provided direct investigative support to Special Agents during their investigations.
Luiz has also proven himself in his civilian career as a Police Officer. To this day, he is always the first one to volunteer for extra assignments, often taking the toughest area operations. He became a civilian police officer on June, 2006, first serving with the Norfolk Police Department in its Uniform Patrol Division. After several years with the Norfolk PD, he decided that he wanted to continue his career closer to his hometown so that he and his wife and children could be closer to the rest of his family back in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Luiz completed his Pennsylvania State Law Enforcement Certification in Reading, PA, where he served as Police Officer for a short period of time. In 2013 he had the fortunate honor to be hired by the Allentown Police Department in his home town. He has served as a police officer with APD for the past four years, assigned first to the Uniform Patrol Division and most recently promoted to Detective.
In Luiz’s personal life, he has established himself as a family man – deeply rooted in his faith. He married his high school sweetheart, and they have raised two wonderful children, for whom they continue to pass on their hard work ethic, love, and patience.
Luiz continues to devote himself by working hard for others, nurturing the same sense of public service that his parents instilled in him as a child in Allentown. While serving in his military and civilian careers, Luiz completed his College Degree in Criminal Justice from St. Leo University. Luiz continues to tell his story wherever he can, and he has taken a pledge upon himself to try to inspire young people by teaching them the lesson that circumstance can be defeated by envisioning success every day of your life! Luiz is a proven community leader with aspirations of leading his hometown in the future!