Attorney General Ashley Moody News Release

February 20, 2019
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150

Attorney General Moody Names Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today named Miami-Dade Police Department Detective Manuel Gonzalez the Florida Attorney General’s 2018 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Last year, a gunman shot Detective Gonzalez multiple times while working security at a Miami Walmart. The detective, severely wounded, returned fire and neutralized the suspect.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “All of these nominees are heroes for the incredible work they do every day to protect Floridians. I am proud to name Detective Gonzalez our Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. His remarkable bravery and courage in the midst of grave danger is a shining example of the risks law enforcement officers take to protect, serve and keep our communities safe.”

On Dec. 6, 2017, Detective Gonzalez suffered multiple gunshot wounds from a suspected shoplifter while on security detail at a Walmart Super Center. Despite being seriously wounded, Detective Gonzalez returned fire and incapacitated the suspect. Detective Gonzalez maintained a positive attitude during recovery and expressed desire to return to full duty as soon as possible. Detective Gonzalez continues providing outstanding service and commitment to protect Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida.

Each nominee for the Florida Attorney General’s award is previously recognized as an “Officer of the Year” by a Florida law enforcement agency or organization that sponsors the statewide honor. A selection committee appointed by the Florida Attorney General’s office, reviews and considers the distinguished group of nominees. This year, the Florida Police Chiefs Association nominated Detective Gonzalez.

The additional 2018 award nominees are:

Officer Michael Bibeau, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission;
Trooper Nicholas Dolan, Florida Highway Patrol;
Deputy Jesus Madrigal, Broward County Sheriff’s Office;
Lieutenant Stacy McIntyre, Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Investigative and Forensic Services;
Special Agent Daniel Mehler, Florida Department of Law Enforcement;
Special Agent T. Judah Pent, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and
Officer Rebecca Rivera, Orlando Police Department.

Another 2018 nominee is Lieutenant Debra Clayton of the Orlando Police Department. Lieutenant Clayton died in the line of duty in January 2017 after suffering fatal gunshot wounds from a fugitive. Lieutenant Clayton worked 17 years for the OPD and received the department’s Award of Valor and Purple Heart Award in recognition of her dedication of duty and sacrifice.

To learn more about the accomplishments of this year’s nominees, click here.