Final Radio Call for Sergeant Eddie Negron
By Robert Florida
During his 24-year career, Sergeant Edward Negron battled many criminals, but the toughest fight he ever faced was losing both his lungs.
In 2021, while working as a detective to safeguard citizens, Negron contracted Covid-19. It compromised his cardiovascular system and impaired his lungs. He eventually underwent a double lung transplant. The operation was successful, but given the severity of his condition, he decided to retire from the Prosecutor’s Office on August 1, 2022.
Negron was a beloved figure in the prosecutor’s office. His colleagues unanimously refer to him as a “brother,” and “stand-up guy.” They all call him Eddie. So on the morning of Aug. 1, when Eddie walked out of the prosecutor’s office for the last time, a crowd gathered to bid him farewell. As he exited the office building and entered the parking lot, he walked into a blue wall of detectives, police officers, and prosecutors – colleagues who clapped, whistled, and cheered him on.
At a makeshift gathering in the parking lot, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II awarded Eddie a plaque in honor of his 24 years of outstanding service to law enforcement.
“You deserve all this adulation from your colleagues,” said Stephens. “You are our brother, and we will always be here for you. You gave maximum effort to keeping our community safe, and we appreciate your service. Congratulations, my brother.”
Mitchell McGuire, Chief of Detectives, said when he first arrived in the prosecutor’s office, Eddie showed him what it is to be a “cop’s cop.”
“I speak for all of us here,” said McGuire, “when I say that you are a hero, and you are our brother. I’m sad to see you go, but happy you are moving on to a new phase of your life – family time.”
Eddie, flanked by two of his sons, thanked his colleagues for their support, especially when he was in the hospital for the double lung transplant surgery.
“I’m grateful to all of you for the support you gave me,” said Eddie. “It was hard, but I have another shot at life. Let’s see what happens next.”
Then it was time for his final radio call, a time-honored tradition for retiring officers. McGuire handed Eddie a police radio, and he dialed into dispatch for the last time.
“This is detective Negron calling in,” said Eddie. The dispatcher answered, and with her voice booming over a loudspeaker, read this response:
“Sergeant Negron began his career with the East Newark Police Department in July of 1998, where he worked tireless hours as a police officer. In May of 2005, he was hired by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, where he distinguished himself as a tenacious detective. He worked in the Adult Trial Section, Juvenile Unit, and the Narcotics Task Force, where he worked on many high-profile narcotics investigations that led to numerous prosecutions. He was also on loan to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for three years.
“In February of 2020, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant by Prosecutor Stephens and Chief McGuire. He was the supervisor of the Juvenile Unit for a short time, but his leadership left a lasting impact on the men and women he supervised. He is the proud father of three boys: Devin Negron, 20, Chase Negron, 15, and Mason Negron, 13.
“In 2021, he fell ill to Covid-19, and as a result underwent double lung transplant surgery. In true warrior fashion, he battled through his condition, and is an inspiration to us all. On behalf of your family at the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, thank you for 24 years of exceptional service. Sergeant Negron. You are now officially retired.”
As the dispatcher’s voice faded, Eddie was enveloped by dozens of well-wishers, who reminded him that though retired, he would always be their “brother forever.”