In Memory of Detective April Eleanor Bird
On Monday, August 5, 2019, New Jersey residents were saddened to hear of the loss of a local detective in the line of duty. Detective April Eleanor Bird, badge number 201, suffered a fatal heart attack during an active investigation. Detective Bird was 50 years old.
On August 2, Detective April Bird was interviewing a suspect. She was conducting a shooting investigation. During the interview, Detective Bird collapsed. Officers assisted Bird and called for EMTs. Bird was transported to a local hospital; she died three days later.
Detective Bird had served her community as a sworn law enforcement officer for more than twenty years. She served previously with the US Department of Defense Police and the New Jersey Department of Corrections. When she passed, she had achieved the rank of detective and was a member of the Asbury Park Police Department.
Asbury Park Police Department, New Jersey
Detective Bird was a member of the Asbury Park Police Department. Asbury Park is a seaside community in New Jersey incorporated in 1874 as a borough. It was re-established in 1893 as a city. The population is currently approximately 17,000 residents.
As a department, the APPD has unique problems in that it is a small community with big-city issues. These problems are due to the proximity of NYC and Newark. The department has taken significant steps to successfully reduce the number of murders in the city. In 2014, the agency cracked down on gang members scattered across the city. A raid called “Operation Dead End” swept through the town, arresting both Crips and the Bloods gang members.
The agency has faced additional challenges that are weather-related. For example, the northeast coast has had the impact of hurricanes and other severe weather threats. The department is responsible for providing security and bringing calm to residents during these events.
Detective April Eleanor Bird leaves behind her children, extended family, friends, and neighbors. She was an influence on all those she met. Bird returned to her childhood community to make a difference for others. Full honors provided by the Asbury Park Police and other agencies will be performed at her service to demonstrate the significance of this tragic loss.
Retired NYPD Detective Rob O’Donnell expressed his thoughts on the loss of a wonderful officer. “Today, we laid to rest my good friend Detective April Bird of the Asbury Park Police Dept. April was raised in the Asbury Park projects, a single mom & wanted to serve the community she grew up in to give back. Unfortunately, while working a youth shooting, she had a stroke & never recovered.”
Thomas P. Costello, a journalist for USA Today, commented on the loss of a friend. “A friend and fellow officer honored during funeral service held for Asbury Park (NJ) Police Detective April Bird. Tychelle Holmes, of Neptune Township, made this wreath to honor her longtime friend and Asbury Park Police Detective April Bird, who died during an investigation. Her funeral service is being at the Paramount Theater on Monday.”
Lakewood Police Department shared its condolences and announced their attendance at Bird’s service. “Today attending – April Bird’s funeral, the Asbury Park detective who died last week Monday morning. She suffered a medical episode while investigating a shooting. We say goodbye to a sister officer who will forever shine in blue! Rest In Peace!”