Chief Ruben Garcia has 34 years of law enforcement experience with the Lakeland Police Department. He began his career at the Lakeland Police Department in April of 1987 after serving four years with the Second Marine Division of the United States Marine Corps. Chief Garcia, who has served as one of the agency’s three Assistant Chiefs for the past three years, was officially sworn in as the Lakeland Police Chief in January of 2019.
Garcia has a long list of past assignments as he has progressively advanced in the Lakeland Police Department. These assignments include: Uniform Police Officer, SWAT Officer, Narcotics Officer, FDLE Fugitive Task Force, Drug K-9 Handler, Criminal Intelligence Officer, DEA Task Force Officer, SWAT Team Sergeant, K-9 Unit Sergeant, HIDTA Task Force Sergeant, Uniformed Patrol Lieutenant, Criminal Investigations Lieutenant, Commanding Officer of the Uniform Patrol Division and Commanding Officer of the Neighborhood Services Bureau. He also has an extensive list of training assignments on his resume including the most recent Florida Police Chief’s Future Police Chiefs Training Seminar he attended in 2018.
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 and a Florida Certified Labor Relations Professional.