December 2023 Officer of the Month
Officer Adrian De La Garza
Las Cruces Police Department, Las Cruces, NM
On February 4, 2021, Officer De La Garza risked his life to take down a drug dealer after he shot and killed New Mexico State Police Trooper Darian Jarrott during a traffic stop. The suspect, who was extremely impaired during the incident, fled the stretch of highway where he shot and killed Jarrott and continued his attempted escape toward Las Cruces. Other officers began pursuing the vehicle along Interstate-10. At one point the subject stopped and shot at officers before fleeing again.
As the vehicle entered Las Cruces, the driver struck spike strips and Officer De La Cruces then conducted a precision immobilization technique, and successfully stopped the truck. As the truck came to a stop the subject exited the vehicle and exchanged shots with Officer De La Garza, wounding him. He and other responding officers returned fire and killed the subject.
Officer De La Garza has undergone multiple and extensive surgeries and procedures and has since returned to duty.
In 2022, Officer De La Garza received the MADD New Mexico Outstanding Urban Office of the Year award.
MADD is proud to recognize Officer Adrian De La Garza as the MADD December 2023 Officer of the Month. We thank him for his dedicated service to the citizens Las Cruces and the State of New Mexico. We wish him the best in safety and wellness in the remaining years of his career and service.