Roadside Bomb Kills LAPD Officer Serving in Afghanistan NR10489rf

October 20, 2010

Los Angeles:  The Los Angeles Police Department regrets to report that on October 19, 2010, an improvised explosive device (IED) killed Police Officer II Joshua Cullins on active military service in Afghanistan. 

Cullins was 28 and joined the Marines immediately after graduating from high school in June 2000.  He had served initially on an active-duty basis till August 2007 and then became a reservist in August 2008.  He had served two tours of duty in Iraq and was currently serving his second tour of duty as an explosive ordnance disposal technician with the First Marine Logistics Group, First Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 2nd Battalion and 9th Marine Regiment in Marja in Afghanistan’s treacherous Helmand Province.  Cullins had been decorated with several combat medals and awards for his service in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

With only two days left in the field before a replacement would have relieved him, he was killed by an IED.  Complete details of his death have yet to be provided by the United States Department of Defense.

Cullins had recently recovered from injuries he suffered in July of this year when a device he was disarming exploded. To cheer him up, fellow police officers created a get-well video to encourage him in his recovery.  LAPD Officer David Marroquin, a talented video producer off duty, created two videos.  The first one is a high-quality, uplifting video incorporating get-well messages from LAPD personnel and others outside the Department to express their gratitude for Cullins’ service.  It also includes thoughts and prayers for his quick recovery.

For the second video, Marroquin enlisted the help of an actor-musician friend, J. Hunter Ackerman, who wrote a song with Cullins in mind.  Both then collaborated to turn the song into a moving music video entitled “Welcome Home.”  Both videos were presented during a special tribute to U.S. troops last month at the Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles.

Cullins joined the LAPD in 2008.  Upon graduation from the Police Academy, he was first assigned to patrol duties in the Department’s Topanga Area and was currently serving at Central Area.  “He was very dedicated and personable,” said LAPD Bomb Squad Officer Steve Hennigan, who was a close personal friend of Cullins. “He had the kind of personality that attracted people to him, and he truly excelled in the Department. He would have been a perfect fit for the Bomb Squad.  We were greatly looking forward to having him onboard.”

Cullins is survived by his father and step mother, as well as two younger brothers, ages 12 and 17.  Arrangements for memorial services are still pending and will be announced as soon as they are finalized.