BATAVIA – Gary LaBarbera has served in a variety of roles since joining the Batavia Police Department in 2005.
LaBarbera knows Batavia’s streets as a patrol officer, has dealt with young people as a juvenile detective, shared his experience with his comrades as a field training officer and shown leadership as a patrol officer-in-charge.
Now, LaBarbera is taking on his biggest leadership challenge yet with his promotion to sergeant.
Mayor Jeff Schielke administered the sergeant’s oath of office to LaBarbera on Tuesday during a ceremony before the Batavia City Council.
With his wife Whitney, several family members and fellow officers looking on, LaBarbera swore to uphold the Constitution and to serve and protect.
Batavia police Chief Dan Eul told alderman that LaBarbera has been assigned to supervise the department’s afternoon patrol shift.
Eul also recounted LaBarbera’s impressive service record with Batavia police, including numerous letters of recognition, the department’s Officer of the Year Award in 2010 and the department’s Lifesaving Award in 2015 for his efforts in rendering first aid to an unresponsive person.
LaBarbera said Batavia police have a special relationship with the people they serve.
“We’ve got a great city that supports us,” LaBarbera said. “I really enjoy it here.”
LaBarbera was selected for the promotion by the Batavia Board of Fire and Police Commissioners to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Sgt. Vince DeBlasio.
The selection came after a series of tests.
“There was a lot of studying,” LaBarbera said.
Prior to his police work, LaBarbera served as an infantry soldier in the U.S. Army from 1998 to 2002, with tours in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
LaBarbera’s promotion to sergeant was effective on Jan. 7.