Police Officer Richard Rodriguez

Police Officer Richard Rodriguez

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, New York

End of Watch Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Richard Rodriguez

Officer Richard Rodriguez was killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks while attempting to rescue the victims trapped in the World Trade Center.

Officer Rodriguez was at the police academy at the time the first plane struck and he immediately responded to the scene with other officers, arriving just as the second plane hit the towers. Officer Rodriguez was credited with saving many lives before being killed during the second collapse.

Officer Rodriguez had served with the Port Authority Police for 8 years and was assigned to the Police Academy.

He is survived by his wife.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, seventy-two officers from a total of eight local, state, and federal agencies were killed when terrorist hijackers working for the al Qaeda terrorist network, headed by Osama bin Laden, crashed two of four hijacked planes into the World Trade Center towers in New York City. After the impact of the first plane, putting the safety of others before their own, law enforcement officers along with fire and EMS personnel, rushed to the burning Twin Towers of the World Trade Center to aid the victims and lead them to safety. Due to their quick actions, it is estimated that over 25,000 people were saved.

As the evacuation continued, the first tower unexpectedly collapsed due as a result of the intense fire caused by the impact. The second tower collapsed a short time later. 71 law enforcement officers, 343 members of the New York City Fire Department and over 2,800 civilians were killed at the World Trade Center site.

A third hijacked plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania when the passengers attempted to re-take control of the plane. One law enforcement officer, who was a passenger on the plane, was killed in that crash.

The fourth hijacked plane was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, killing almost 200 military and civilian personnel. No law enforcement officers were killed at the Pentagon.

The terrorist attacks resulted in the declaration of war against the Taliban regime, the illegal rulers of Afghanistan, and the al Qaeda terrorist network which also was based in Afghanistan.

On September 9, 2005, all of the public safety officers killed on September 11, 2001, were posthumously awarded the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor by President George W. Bush.

The contamination in the air at the World Trade Center site caused many rescue personnel to become extremely ill, and eventually led to the death of several rescue workers.

On May 1, 2011 members of the United States military conducted a raid on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was hiding. During the raid, they shot and killed bin Laden.

Please click here to visit the memorials of all of the law enforcement officers killed in this terrorist attack.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge 1625

Incident Details

  • Cause Terrorist attack
  • Weapon Aircraft; Passenger jet
  • Offender 19 suicide attackers

Most Recent Reflection

View all 33 Reflections

Dear Richard Rodriguez,

Thank you for your service! There are no words that can explain how brave and courageous of a peace officer that you are. There are not that many persons in the world that can sacrifice their own life for the safety of others. I know I can never ease the pain for your family and loved ones, but your hard work , dedication and honor will never be forgotten. Thank you for serving the New York and New Jersey police department and saving those lives of others on that day and before . Your sacrifice will never be forgotten. God bless you and your family, and thank you for aspiring me and giving me that motivation to help others.

Recruit Hernandez, L , Class #425
Los Angeles Sheriff Department

September 15, 2017

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