VETERANS DAY: ACPO DETECTIVE, SERVING AS AIR FORCE CAPTAIN ASSIGNED TO PROCESS PERSONAL EFFECTS OF FALLEN SERVICE MEMBERS


MAYS LANDING—Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Det. Jose Rodriguez, also holds the rank of Captain in the U.S. Air Force and is currently assigned to a military mobilization as a Summary Court Marshall Officer at the Joint Personal Effects Depot at Dover Air Force Base, DE. Det. Rodriguez, who is the only Air Force officer personnel at the depot, was mobilized in July 2018 and will complete this assignment in February 2019.

“Detective Rodriguez represents our country, as well as the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, with the utmost dignity and respect. While his ACPO family misses him during this deployment, we understand the sacrifice that he is making and support his service to our country,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.

Since 2011, the command at the Joint Personal Effects Depot (JPED) at Dover Air Force Base has been processing fallen service members’ personal effects with the utmost dignity and respect.

“Any fallen service member, from any branch of service, in any theater of operation, their remains are sent to Dover Air Force Base, along with their personal effects. These service members gave their lives for the United States and we are here to make sure their remains are treated with dignity, honor and respect,” Det. Rodriguez said.

According to a 2013, U.S. Army article, “the JPED mission is to receive, safeguard, inventory, store, process and determine the final disposition of personal effects of not only those killed in action, but also those who are wounded or missing, from all branches of military service, including the Coast Guard, as well as forward-deployed Department of Defense civilians and contractors.”

“As part of my duties, I have the authority to make the determination of which personal effects go to the family of the fallen service member, based on the condition of the effects and as dictated by U.S. Army regulations. When the case comes in to the JPED, we have to go through every item, including, any and all personal effects that belonged to the fallen service member,” Det. Rodriguez said.

The JPED defines personal effects as privately owned, moveable, and personal property belonging to someone. These include what the person had on them at time their death, which are referred to as transfer items, as well as items left behind in their workspace and living quarters, according to the U.S. Army article.

Det. Rodriguez was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and came to the United States in 2002 at the age of 17. He moved to Atlantic City, NJ, in the summer of 2003, and in December of that year he joined the NJ Air National Guard as a Logistics Management Apprentice. During his own Air Force career, Det. Rodriguez served in logistics for approximately 8 years where he had deployments in support of operations Iraqi freedom, Enduring freedom and also performed disaster relief efforts for Super Storm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina among others. He attained the rank of Technical Sergeant (E-6) before leaving his enlisted career and becoming a commissioned officer in the Air Force. Det. Rodriguez attended the Academy of Military Science at Maxwell Air Force Base and on January 2013 he received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. He currently holds the rank of Captain and he is the Director of the Equal Opportunity Office and the Wing Drug Demand Reduction Program Manager. In July 2013, he was hired as a County Investigator by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.

“I do miss my family and it’s hard to be away from them, but as I look at the pictures of the fallen service members and their families, I know that they are not able to go home. I will be able to go home to my family and that is why it is so important to do this work. These service members deserve the most dignity, honor and respect for their sacrifice. It is an honor to be a part of this command,” Det. Rodriguez said.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY AND ATLANTIC COUNTY, DET. RODRIGUEZ!

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Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.

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