For Immediate Release: October 5, 2015
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Detective Jason Friday selected as the 2015 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year; Orange County Sheriff Master Deputy Jeffrey Newcomb 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. Detective Jason Friday of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office was selected as the 2015 Florida Retail Federation Law Enforcement Officer of the Year (LEOY). Selected as the Runner-Up was Master Deputy Jeffrey Newcomb of the Orange 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 Monday, October 12, at the Hilton Tampa Downtown.
“The Florida Retail Federation is proud to continue its tradition of honoring our state’s law enforcement community and recognizing some of Florida’s finest law enforcement professionals,” said Rick McAllister, FRF President/CEO. “We are grateful to not only these officers selected for special recognition, but to each of the many outstanding nominees from across Florida. We applaud their service and commitment to their communities and profession and appreciate their numerous contributions to our state.”
Detective Friday will receive $3,000 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. Two officers were selected to receive Honorable Mentions and will be recognized locally. They are: Detective Kenneth DeWeese of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Detective Marcos Rodriguez of the Miami-Dade Police Department.
The Law Enforcement of the Year Award Dinner is held in conjunction with the 2015 FRF Loss Prevention Conference taking place the next day, October 13. 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.
2015 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
Detective Jason Friday
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office
Since becoming a detective in 2011, Detective Friday has immersed himself in developing his skills and expertise in working economic crimes of all matters. He has taken a proactive role in investigating organized retail fraud and theft and coordinates formal training for law enforcement in areas such as identification and handling of fraudulent credit cards. During the award period, Detective Friday led his agency and the Department of Agriculture in “Operation Skimmer Sweep” in response to the increasing criminal deployment of credit card skimmers in gas stations across southwest Florida. The information hijacked is then used to create cloned credit cards that are used by organized retail crime rings. Overall, 78 gas stations containing over 450 gas pumps were inspected. Detective Friday also serves as liaison to Asset Protection managers at all major stores in the The Mall at University Town Center. This has led to several successful large-scale, multijurisdictional Organized Retail Crime investigations this past year. Detective Friday has worked in law enforcement since 2005 and has been with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office since 2008.
Master Deputy Jeffrey Newcomb, Agent
Orange County Sheriff’s Office
As a member of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Intelligence Unit, Agent Newcomb’s primary responsibilities are to monitor and track crime trends occurring in the retail market and share the information with all law enforcement agencies as well as working with the area’s major retailers. This past award year, Agent Newcomb helped to successfully investigate a large Organized Retail Crime ring that was responsible for numerous thefts all over Florida followed by subsequent fraudulent returns through altered receipts. Upon further investigation, it was determined that several retailers were being targeted by this ring. Agent Newcomb has been with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for 16 years and in law enforcement for 21 years.
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 at www.frf.org.
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.