In Memory of Corporal Miguel Rodriguez
Florida officials announced the loss of an agricultural law enforcement officer due to the current and deadly coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, October 21, 2021, Corporal Miguel Rodriguez died due to complications from contracting COVID19 while on duty. Cpl. Rodriguez was 52 years old.
Cpl. Rodriguez was a fully sworn law enforcement officer. He had been serving Florida with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement or OALA for the last fifteen years.
Recently Rodriguez had been working off Interstate 95 in Yulee at a checkpoint. He is the first law enforcement officer with this Florida agency to die in the line of duty from COVID19.
The state of Florida has had many of its law enforcement agencies ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, Florida has lost more than 35 law enforcement officers in the last three months.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement, Florida
Rodriguez was an agricultural law enforcement officer. He was a sworn member of the OALE for the state of Florida. So what does an agricultural police officer do? According to the department’s website, the agency is responsible for protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive trade practices, protecting Florida’s agriculture industry from theft and other crimes, and safeguarding the wholesomeness of food and other consumer products.
The OALE of Florida operates 23 agricultural inspection stations. These stations are spread over 19 different highways that bring traffic across the state line into or out of Florida. Officers are managing inspections 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. This is done to ensure the Florida food supply remains safe. The state operates a $100 billion agricultural industry.
OALE investigates crimes that involve agriculture. Officers also investigate incidents that occur on property owned or operated by FDACS. OALE helps maintain domestic security, participating in all seven regional Domestic Security Task Forces statewide. This agency partners with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. OALE helps coordinate the Domestic Marijuana Eradication Task Force.
Corporal Miguel Rodriguez leaves behind three daughters. Many law enforcement agencies will volunteer to be there to escort Rodriguez to his final resting place. In addition, the Rodriguez family will be helped by the love and support of family, friends, neighbors, and their blue family.
Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services Nikki Fried posted condolences for the family of Cpl. Rodriguez. “Our hearts go out to the family and colleagues of Corporal Miguel Rodriguez, Jr., a 15-year veteran of the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement who passed away on Oct. 21st. He was a vital member of #OALE and @FDACS; his absence will be deeply felt.”
Reserve Deputy Eddie A. posted condolences on hearing of the loss of a fellow Florida officer. “Rest in peace Corporal Rodriguez. Thank you, sir, for your service and sacrifice. May God comfort your family and colleagues in this difficult time.
Retired officer, T. W. Martinez, shared prayers for the family of Cpl. Rodriquez. “I am sad to learn of the passing of a brother and hero in Corporal Miguel Rodriguez. I believe our heavenly Father has welcomed him home into his loving arms, where he will now patrol the golden streets of heaven. May the Lord deliver blessings, comfort, and peace to his family, friends, and all members of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement, Florida.”