GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Gulfport Police Department posted a picture celebrating the return of one of Officer Luis Garcia, who was injured in the line of duty in January.
The department's Facebook post shows a smiling Garcia, who they say "is serving in a light duty capacity until fully cleared to return to the street."
"It feels great to be back," Garcia said. "It's been a long road, but being back to work is amazing."
On the night of January 22, Officer Garcia was involved in a car accident when a teen driving a stolen vehicle crashed into his patrol car. Eli Daniel Bosworth, 18, was charged with motor vehicle theft and felony fleeing and eluding after. The crash happened as officers attempted to stop Bosworth during a police chase.
Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania spoke highly of Officer Garcia's sense of humor and resiliency though his recovery process.
Garcia is a 10-year veteran of Gulfport Police Department, currently assigned to the patrol division. He also serves as a certified hostage negotiator. In 2015, WLOX News Now featured his role in saving a man's life during a hostage situation.
Friends of the Gulfport Police Department collected funds through a special account at Hancock Bank, called GCOPS Benefit Account for Officer Luis Garcia. A Facebook page, Prayers for Officer Luis Garcia, was also set up to offer support to the veteran officer and follow his recovery.