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.
First Assistant Prosecutor - Cary Shill
In 1989, First Assistant Prosecutor Cary Shill began his career as a prosecutor when he joined the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. In 2006, he was promoted to Chief Assistant Prosecutor. During his tenure with the Office, he has supervised the Trial Unit, Atlantic County Shooting Response Team, Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Unit, Violent Crime Unit and Computer Crimes Unit. In 2003, Mr. Shill successfully prosecuted the last trial in which a defendant in New Jersey was sentenced to death. In 2006, he received the Outstanding Victim Advocacy in a Single Case Award from the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey. In 2004, Mr. Shill was honored to be awarded the Crime Victim Service Award by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice. Mr. Shill is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Criminal Trial Attorney. From 1990 to 1993, he was an assistant prosecutor at the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. In 1985, Mr. Shill received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Trenton State College. In 1988, he graduated with a law degree from the Florida State University College of Law.
Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor - Mario Formica
Mario Formica serves as a Deputy First Assistant 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 Troup v. Home Associates Equity Services, 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. Less than a year later, Formica was assigned to an investigative trial unit, the Violent Crimes Unit, and paired with then Chief Assistant Cary Shill. Formica worked in VCU until September 2007 at which time 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 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.
In 2014, the New Jersey Supreme Court certified Formica as a Criminal Trial Attorney.
In March 2017, Prosecutor Tyner named Formica, 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, in the UNITED STATES 3RD CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS, thereby, affirming the conviction for 1st degree Murder and a sentence of life imprisonment with a 30 year period of parole ineligibility.