For Immediate Release: June 29, 2016
Volusia County Sheriff’s Investigator Jayson Paul selected as the 2016 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year; Marion County Sheriff’s Detective Thomas Tingue selected as Runner-Up
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced today the winners of its annual law enforcement officer of the year awards. Investigator Jayson Paul (pictured left) of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office was selected as the 2016 Florida Retail Federation Law Enforcement Officer of the Year (LEOY). Selected as the Runner-Up was Detective Thomas Tingue of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. Both are being recognized in part for their work in preventing organized retail crime, and will be honored at a prestigious law enforcement awards dinner on Friday, July 29, at the Orlando Marriott World Center.
“Florida’s 270,000 retailers and their millions of customers rely on the safety and protection that our incredible law enforcement officers provide every day, and we’re proud to once again recognize these dedicated and courageous heroes,” said FRF President and CEO Randy Miller. “We are grateful for the work of all of our law enforcement professionals around the state and we hope this award not only brings recognition to the winner, but also to all of the brave men and women who keep us safe.”
Investigator Paul will receive a cash award and a custom-crafted medallion and plaque, in addition to his name being added to an official plaque that lists each LEOY recipient since the program’s inception in 1974. Four officers were selected to receive Honorable Mentions and will be recognized locally. They are: Sgt. Grisleem Casas of the Miami-Dade Police Department, Sgt. Eric Fernandez of the City of Doral Police Department, Detective Todd Herb of the Orlando Police Department and Detective Mark Marland of the St. Petersburg Police Department.
2016 WINNER: INVESTIGATOR JAYSON PAUL
Investigator Paul initiated an investigation into a large-scale racketeering case that became known as “Operation Plastic Paradise.” It involved multiple criminal groups that were entering large retail stores, stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of property on a daily basis, and then returning the stolen property in exchange for gift cards that were then sold to a local gift card buying business. The business was so lucrative that it showed nearly $2 million flowing through it in less than a year. Leading a team of approximately 40 investigators, Investigator Paul successfully helped dismantle the multiple organizations involved with results that included 23 arrest warrants, five search warrants, and six seizure warrants.
RUNNER-UP: DETECTIVE THOMAS TINGUE
Detective Tingue is an active member of the Hostage Negotiations Team as well as the Honor Guard. He has been a Property Crimes Detective for 11 years and became an ORC investigator in 2014. Most notably, he helped solve an OTC health and beauty theft ring that cost retailers millions of dollars in losses and spanned 15 counties throughout Florida. The stolen products were then sold on eBay. Detective Tingue plans golf tournaments that benefit cancer victims: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer that raised nearly $10,000 and for Heartfelt Unconditional Giving (HUGS), which supports families whose children have cancer.
The Law Enforcement of the Year Award Dinner is held in conjunction with the 2016 FRF Loss Prevention Conference also taking place July 29. This annual event attracts close to 300 of the state’s loss prevention and law enforcement professionals gathered to learn the latest news, trends and technology to help them keep their businesses, employees and their customers safe. Both events are important parts of the 2016 Sunshine EXPO taking place July 29-August 1, which also includes the popular EXPO Tradeshow, featuring 2,000 attendees and 350 exhibitors on July 31, as well as a full day of Education Sessions taking place July 30.
ABOUT THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE YEAR PROGRAM
The Florida Retail Federation Law Enforcement Officer of the Year program has been an annual event since its inception in 1974. The purpose of the program is to support and encourage outstanding law enforcement work throughout the state, and to recognize the important contributions made by Florida's law enforcement professionals, particularly as it relates to the retail industry. The program’s time-tested campaign theme, "Often taken for granted, they never stop serving ...because they care," remains as relevant today as when the LEOY was first introduced. For more information on the award winners, the event or the LEOY program, visit FRF’s website.
ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year. For more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Facebook and Twitter.