Detectives' Endowment Association, Inc. — Paul DiGiacomo, President

The DEA Honor Roll

Official Line of Duty Deaths

Edwin Ortiz

Rank: Detective

Shield Number: 3343

Command: 40 Squad

Date of Death: 07/04/2011

Cause of Death: Illnesses contracted as a result of work on the rescue and recovery from the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001.

On July 4th, 2011, Det. Edwin Ortiz, who retired out of the 40 Squad January 31, 2005, passed away from cancer contracted as a result of his work on the rescue and recovery from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In addition to his time spent at Ground Zero, Ortiz also worked extensively at the Staten Island Landfill at Freshkills, sifting through the debris of the World Trade Center. In 2007, Ortiz was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer.

Born and raised on the lower east side of Manhattan, Ortiz came from a police and military family, and he felt a desire to serve his country and a fierce sense of patriotism that lasted throughout his life. His father and an uncle were both WWII and Korean War veterans.

Although he originally attended the Borough of Manhattan Community College, Ortiz transferred to Pace University where he was well on his way to becoming an accountant. But while working to put himself through college, a cousin who was a cop in the 7th Precinct (and who eventually retired from Warrants) convinced Ortiz to take the civil service exam. He was appointed to the force January 21, 1985. For all that the Police Department meant to Ortiz, the most important effect it had on his life was that it was where he met his wife Daisy, herself a second grade Detective who retired out of the 33 Squad in 2005. They met in training in an Academy class and started out together in Neighborhood Stabilization Unit (NSU) #5 in the 30 Precinct.

Det. Edwin Ortiz landed at the 6th Precinct, and then transferred to the 10th; but when the City was besieged by the phenomenon of underground social clubs resulting in the tragedy of the Happy Land fire, Ortiz was assigned to the newly formed Social Club Task Force. He later moved to the Bronx Tactical Narcotics Team, where he earned his gold Detective shield May 31, 1991. When COMPSTAT took off a few years later, Ortiz was selected to handle computer work and analysis and was transferred to the PIMS (Police Information Management System). Around 1995, he was moved once again to the 40 Squad where he remained for the rest of his career.

At the time of his passing, Edwin Ortiz was 56 years old. He is buried at the Ascension Cemetery in Woodland Hills in Rockland County, New York. He was survived by his wife and children.

Click on the following pdf link to read more about Det. Edwin Ortiz in The Gold Shield January 2012 issue.

Edwin Ortiz Gold Shield January 2012

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