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Hero Down: New Jersey State Police Sgt. Dennis O’Dea Succumbs To Cancer

West Trenton, NJ – New Jersey State Police (NJSP) Sergeant First Class Dennis O’Dea died on Sunday after a lengthy cancer battle.

The 39-year-old sergeant had been battling stage three colon cancer and endured months of chemotherapy and “invasive surgeries,” the Troopers United Foundation said in a Facebook post last year.

Sgt. O’Dea was assigned to the NJSP Project Management Unit at the time.

Becoming a NJSP trooper was his lifelong dream, the Troopers United Foundation said.

The state police announced Sgt. O’Dea’s death in a Facebook post on Monday.

“It is with great sorrow that Colonel Patrick J. Callahan announces the passing of Sergeant First Class Dennis O’Dea #6652, on September 26, 2021, after a long courageous battle with cancer,” the post read.

Sgt. O’Dea was a member of the 140th State Police Class and served his agency for over 16 years.

He leaves behind his wife, Danielle, and his young daughter.

“The entire New Jersey State Police family and extended law enforcement community extends our deepest sympathy and commitment of support to the O’Dea family during this difficult time,” the NJSP said.

“Today, we join @NJSP and the entire law enforcement community in honoring the life and service of Sergeant First Class Dennis O’Dea,” New Jersey Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck tweeted. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to his loved ones.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of New Jersey State Police Sergeant First Class Dennis O’Dea, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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