Assistant Chief Ruben Garcia began his career at the Lakeland Police Department in 1987 after returning home from four years of honorable service in the United States Marine Corps. He served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Street Crimes Officer, Drug Detective, Drug K-9 Handler, DEA Drug Task Force Officer, Intelligence Officer and SWAT Sniper.
He was promoted to Sergeant in 1997. He served as a supervisor in the Neighborhood Liaison Section, Special Investigations Section, and the HIDTA Drug Task Force, as well as, completing his 22nd year of service to the SWAT Team ending as the Senior SWAT Sergeant.
In 2010, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant where he served as the Officer in Charge of Patrol Alpha and Charlie Squads and later in the Criminal Investigations Section. Promoted to Captain in 2013 he served as the Commanding Officer of the Uniformed Patrol Division. Currently he is assigned as the Commanding Officer of the Neighborhood Services Bureau.
Assistant Chief Garcia has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from St. Leo University and has completed the School of Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Senior Leadership Program through Florida State University, the State of Florida Certified Public Manager Program and the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police. He is a certified criminal justice high liability instructor in both firearms and defensive tactics.