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Florida Retail Federation Names 2022 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) honored Detective Sergeant Nicholas Ferrara of the Gainesville Police Department last week at the 2022 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Awards Dinner.

Detective Sergeant Ferrara is known globally for his proficiency in facial recognition technology, automatic license plate readers, and expertise in open-source intelligence. Nicknamed “The Wizard” Detective Sergeant Ferrara has successfully identified more than 1,000 witnesses, offenders and victims in support of law enforcement investigations.

“His passion for people, partnership and technology has enabled Detective Sergeant Ferrara to identify countless suspects involved in criminal activity, not only in Florida but across the globe” said Dan Doyle, Executive Committee Member of the Florida Retail Federation, and Chief Human Resources Officer at Bealls. “He is a tremendous partner to retailers throughout our state, and his willingness to work with other law enforcement agencies to close organized retail crime cases is exceptional.”

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Detective Sergeant Ferrara has been part of the Gainesville Police Department for more than 25 years. Throughout this time, he has built an extensive network of contacts to support his investigations- if he doesn’t have the answer, he knows someone who does. His impact reaches far beyond the city limits of Gainesville, and beyond state lines as he partners with other law enforcement agencies, retailers and financial institutions across the nation and as far as the United Kingdom.

As a result of his efforts, Detective Sergeant Ferrara has successfully identified offenders involved in murder, serial rapists, international organized crime, large scale credit card fraud and multi-million-dollar schemes.

“Florida’s retailers are proud to partner with Florida’s law enforcement officers to keep our communities and businesses safe,” said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the FRF. “Law enforcement is our greatest ally in combatting organized retail crime. We are grateful for all of Florida’s law enforcement officers who selflessly serve to protect our communities.”
FRF also recognized the 2022 runner-up, Detective Diane Wantuck of the Coral Springs Police Department. During her 17 years with the agency, Detective Wantuck has successfully unraveled organized retail crime offenders, groups and fences, and is invaluable partner in fighting ORC throughout South Florida.

Since 1974, the FRF has cherished the tradition of celebrating Florida’s outstanding law enforcement community for their dedication keeping Florida residents safe. This year the selection committee for the FRF awards program received dozens of worthy nominations with endless accounts of heroism and selflessness in the line of duty.

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