Cotati’s streets got a little bit safer Tues. night when the city council pinned the badge on its newest officer.
The officer’s name is Anthony Garber and he grew up in the Cotati-Rohnert Park area and went to school at Rancho Cotate. According to Garber, it’s always been his dream to come back to his home town to protect and serve.
“I just really love helping people,” Garber said. “I’m really thankful for the opportunity. I wanted to work with people I grew up with, honestly. Maybe they’ll be able to look at me and the badge and maybe have a different view of the police department as a whole.”
Looking at the man out of uniform one wouldn’t expect that Garber had devoted his life to public service. He’s a fresh-faced youth in his mid-twenties sporting a smart crew cut and an athletic build. In many ways Garber wouldn’t look out of place on a college campus somewhere, but first impressions can be deceiving.
The new officer is experienced. He joined the police academy almost the second he was old enough to do so and after graduation he spent a couple of years in Lake County working as a beat cop. Lake County isn’t the easiest place for a new officer to start out in. According to the Office of the Attorney General, the county has the 17th highest violent crime rate in all of California and the single lowest median household income.
Those two factors combined can make for a rather difficult beat. Garber took it in stride, however.
“It’s Lake County,” he said with a shrug.
A lot has changed in Garber’s life over the past year. In addition to the new job and moving back to his hometown, Garber got married in May. The marriage was originally scheduled for October, but a few complications forced him to move up the time table. They had a small, private ceremony.
He and his wife Lindsey then settled down in West Cotati towards Sebastopol. They’ve
got a puppy now—a husky and Garber says he couldn’t be happier.
“When you know you know,” Garber said. “Lindsey is my biggest supporter. She’s seen how hard I’ve been working behind closed doors and she’s honestly just my main motivator and my cheerleader every single day.”
Garber will begin his training with the Cotati Police Force Wed.