Officer Ben Tobias joined the Gainesville Police Department in 2005. During his career he has served in Patrol, the Downtown Unit and also spent three years riding horses with the Mounted Patrol Unit. While working the road, he spent most of his time in traffic and DUI enforcement. Ben was approached and asked to be the Public Information Officer for GPD in the spring of 2012 which he accepted. About a month after starting his new position, he handled all media functions for the murder case of UF Student Christian Aguilar, a case that garnered international attention. Approximately 6 weeks after becoming a PIO, Ben gave a press conference that aired live nationwide.
Ben’s duties include daily interactions with the Gainesville TV, print and radio news outlets and managing GPD’s social media presence. He also handles a majority of the photography and videography for GPD. Ben also presents multiple times each year at the University of Florida’s School of Journalism.
In January 2016, Ben finally achieved every social media manager’s dream…the viral video. A street basketball game between Gainesville Police Officer Bobby White and neighborhood kids has been viewed over 200 million times and created international media attention. The experience has included meeting NBA Superstar Shaquille O’Neal twice…once at Shaq’s home in Windemere!
Additionally, Officer Tobias serves as a backup Tactical Flight Officer for the agency’s Joint Aviation Unit and is currently in the process of studying for his helicopter pilot license.
Officer Tobias was elected Vice President in June 2015 and assumed the office of President in October 2016 after the past president had to resign.