TTo support and encourage outstanding law enforcement work throughout the state and to recognize the important contributions of Florida's law enforcement professionals, the Florida Retail Federation has proudly sponsored its annual Law Enforcement Officer of the Year awards program since 1974.
Through the decades, FRF's LEOY award has grown to be recognized among Florida law enforcement as one of the most prestigious honors bestowed on their profession. FRF is accepting nominations now from police and sheriff's departments, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Department of Business & Professional Regulation for the 2017 LEOY award. The deadline for law enforcement professionals to nominate officers for consideration is Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Each sheriff, police chief, and agency head should have received a “Call for Nomination” form in the mail. The form, including award criteria, is also available for downloading here. Eligible nominees are officers up to and including the rank of sergeant. Nominations for 2017 should be based on overall performance from April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017. FRF respectfully requests only one nomination per department. The nominee selected as the 2017 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year will be recognized at a special LEOY Awards dinner on Thursday, July 20, at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee. For more information, call Brenda Grindstaff at 1.888.FL.RETAIL or email her at FRFAwards@frf.org.
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.