Detective Miguel Garcia Honored as Florida Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

ORLANDO, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) honored Detective Miguel ‘Mike’ Garcia of the Miami-Dade Police Department Tuesday night at the 2023 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Awards Dinner.

Detective Garcia has served for more than 24 years at the Miami-Dade Police Department. He has spent the last decade as a detective investigating organized retail crime (ORC). His leadership and relentless work ethic have been integral to the take down of dozens of ORC rings in Florida.

“Detective Garcia has exhibited the highest level of commitment to keeping our communities safe,” said Meredith Preloh, Board Chair of the Florida Retail Federation, and Director of Government Affairs at Lowe’s. “His devotion and professionalism are cornerstones of his character. Retailers are fortunate to have the best detective in South Florida leading retail theft investigations and cases.”

After Detective Garcia was called away on special assignment to investigate the Surfside collapse, he continued to assist other detectives and Florida retailers on ORC-related cases. Upon his return from his two-year mission, Detective Garcia conducted surveillance and identified new booster cells and fences that impacted multiple South Florida retailers, resulting in 53 arrests over a nine-month period with case value exceeding $1 million.

More recently, he took on a new case against prolific boosters targeting South Florida retailers and stealing more than $250,000 in merchandise in two months. Detective Garcia successfully identified a criminal ring reselling stolen, unregulated merchandise online. Utilizing stolen store keys to gain entry to retail businesses, the criminals stole over-the-counter products, threatened retail team members and even hit marked police units. Through Detective Garcia’s leadership and support, the takedown resulted in 65 charges from 17 different law enforcement agencies.

“The Florida Retail Federation is grateful to the men and women in law enforcement who work to protect our team members, customers and communities from the ever-evolving threat of organized retail crime,” said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the FRF. “The invaluable partnership Florida retailers share with our law enforcement agencies helps create a safer and more secure environment for our communities and businesses. We are a better state because of the selflessness of our law enforcement officers.”

The FRF also recognized the 2023 runner-up, Deputy Shane Bininger of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. Since joining the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office in 2021, Deputy Bininger has made a significant impact in a short time identifying numerous ORC groups from Texas to Southern Florida. His tenacity and expertise in ORC investigations led to his designation as a Community Resource Deputy. In this role, he has taken on the responsibility of spreading awareness about combatting retail theft, not only among law enforcement but also within Northwest Florida’s retail community.

Without guidance or direction, Deputy Bininger established a real-time information-sharing network with local and regional retailers and began hosting intelligence-sharing meetings for law enforcement and local retailers. He is passionate about sharing his expertise with fellow deputies, often providing guidance and assistance on ORC cases and navigating Florida’s ORC statutes.

Since 1974, the FRF has cherished the tradition of celebrating Florida’s outstanding law enforcement community and their dedication to keeping Florida residents safe.

The FRF has been a long-time partner with Florida law enforcement agencies, most recently working with Attorney General Ashley Moody in December 2021 to launch the Florida Organized Retail Crime Exchange (FORCE). FORCE consists of an organized retail crime task force and an intelligence-sharing platform. Through FORCE, the FRF, retailers and law enforcement work together to prevent crime, hold criminals accountable and protect Florida businesses.