Chief of Atlantic County Investigators- Bruce K. DeShields
ACPO Chief of Atlantic County Investigators Bruce K. DeShields has served with the ACPO for over 30 years. Chief DeShields is a veteran law enforcement officer with over 37 years of law enforcement experience when he started his law enforcement career in 1982.
Chief DeShields has served the ACPO as a Captain of County Investigators, Lieutenant of County Investigators, Sergeant of County Investigators and County Investigator.
In his role as Captain of County Investigators, Chief DeShields served as the Commander of the Litigation Division, overseeing the ACPO Grand Jury Unit, Trial Unit, Special Litigation Unit, Juvenile Unit and County Crisis Negotiation Team. In this role, he was also responsible to assure the guidelines for the State of New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Bail Reform initiative goals are met.
As ACPO Captain of County Detectives, he also served on the Atlantic County Opiate Task Force, the Liaison with the State of New Jersey’s Opiate Initiative, the Coordinator for the Atlantic County Law Enforcement Naloxone Program and as the Team Leader of the Crisis Negotiation Unit.
Chief DeShields also served as the Commander of the ACPO Special Investigations Unit, which includes the ACPO Guns, Gangs and Narcotics Unit, Intelligence Unit and the Homeland Security and Crisis Negotiations Team.
Chief DeShields has served in Liaison roles to the NJ Attorney General’s Office NARCAN Program, the NJ Attorney General’s Prescription Fraud Investigation Program, the State Narcotics Commanders Association, South Jersey Narcotics Commanders Association and the United States Marshall’s Service Fugitive Task Force.
Chief DeShields previously served as an ACPO Lieutenant, commanding the ACPO Major Crime Unit and was in charge of all teams and sections, including: Homicide Unit, Forensics Unit, Arson Unit, Fatal Collision Unit and Drug-Related Death Investigations. Chief DeShields has also served as the on-scene commander of homicide investigations and on-scene supervisor of officer-involved shootings.
Prior to his service with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Chief DeShields served as a Patrol Officer with the Riverside Township Police Department, the State of New Jersey, Human Services Police Department and the Richard Stockton Police Department.
Chief DeShields received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix. Chief DeShields received a Medal of Valor from the New Jersey State Chiefs of Police Association and he was nominated by the National Association of Police Organizations for the Top Cops Award 2011.
Chief Counsel to the Prosecutor- Mario Formica
Mario Formica serves as Chief Counsel to the Prosecutor at the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. Formica is a lifelong resident of Atlantic County and was born and raised in the "Ducktown" section of Atlantic City.
He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Richard Stockton University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After graduation from Stockton University, Formica was accepted to Rutgers University School of Law in Camden in the spring of 1996. In 2000, graduated with a Juris Doctorate degree with honors. Formica served as an Editor of the Rutgers Law Journal and published a scholarly note, The Violation of an Individual’s State and Federal Constitutional Rights Should Be a Private Matter in California, 30 RUTGERS L.J. 1377 (1999)
After graduating law school, Formica was selected to clerk for the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, the Honorable Steven Z. Kleiner for the 2001-01 term. While clerking, Formica wrote the legal memorandum for presiding Appellate Judge James Havey in the published opinion of Home Associates Equity Services v. Troup, 343 N.J. Super, 254 (App. Div. 2001), a predatory lending case cited nationally over 300 times.
Formica started working at the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office in September 2001 as an Assistant Prosecutor assigned to the Grand Jury Unit. In 2002, Formica was promoted to the Violent Crimes Investigative Unit where he worked until 2007 when he left the ACPO for a position in private practice at the law firm of Hill Wallack LLP. In 2008, Formica to returned to the ACPO and was assigned to the Guns Gangs and Narcotics Investigative Unit.
In 2012, Formica was promoted to Chief Assistant Prosecutor in charge of Special Litigation. He supervised 6 attorneys, handling all criminal appeals arising out of Atlantic County ranging from municipal court appeals to the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division to the New Jersey Supreme Court to the United States 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. Formica handled all appeals from denials of firearms permits, as well as the tracking of Megan’s Law registered sex offenders.
In 2013, Formica developed an original Search and Seizure instructional seminar that has been presented to local police agencies on a periodic basis from that time to the present, and has been certified by the NJ Attorney General’s Office as a Police Instructor.
In 2014, the New Jersey Supreme Court also certified Formica as a Criminal Trial Attorney.
In March 2017, Formica was promoted to Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor. Formica retained prior duties as supervisor of the Special Litigation Unit, and now supervises two chief assistant prosecutors handling the Guns, Gangs and Narcotics Unit, and the newly created Bail Screening Unit.
In 2019, Formica successfully defended the appeal of Omar Davis vs. the Administrator of the New Jersey State Prison, 795 Fed.Appx. 100 ( 3rd Cir. 2019), cert. denied, 140 S.Ct. 2748 (2020), in the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals, thereby, affirming the defendant’s conviction for 1st degree Murder and a sentence of life imprisonment with a 30 year period of parole ineligibility. And in 2021, Formica successfully defended the appeal of Christopher Blank v. Administrator New Jersey State Prison, et al., 851 Fed. Appx. 287 (3rd Cir. 2021) , also in the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed that defendant’s convictions for three counts of attempted murder of three separate police officers, and a 65 year New Jersey State Prison sentence.