• Lynda Cohen

ACPO remembers 'phenomenal' co-worker killed in crash


Sgt. Tracey Thompson, left, said he felt an immediate connection with Little Jeffrey Grier.

Members of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office are in mourning after a three-car crash took the life of a longtime co-worker.

Little Jeffrey Grier, 56, was killed last week in Hamilton Township.

A Vineland man is charged in the crash, which was investigated with assistance from the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office to avoid conflict.

The loss of the husband, father and grandfather was felt throughout the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, co-workers said.


Grier, a member of the office’s support staff, was remembered not only as the man who kept the building running, but boosted the spirits of everyone at work.

“Jeff had an incredible spirit about him,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said. “Every time I spoke with him, I left the conversation feeling positive. He touched so many people just through his kindness, and for that, we are all fortunate to have called him our friend.”


Grier started working at the office in 2008, and became fast friends with Bruce DeShields, now the chief of county detectives.


The two Eagles fans would trade texts while their team played.


“But the real shame is that Jeff’s love of music was cut short,” DeShields said. “We would talk about his music dream and how it was starting to move forward. The love he had for the people who were working that dream with them. We joked about how once he made it big, I would retire and be his personal security.”


Sgt. Tracey Thompson said he and Grier had an instant connection when they met.


“Jeff was best known for his ability to change the atmosphere wherever he found himself,” Thompson said. “His constant pleasant disposition and encouraging nature was a great complement to this office and its members."


Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Mario Formica said Grier was the most spiritual man he ever met.

“Jeff and I talked about our lives, our successes and yes, mostly our failures,” Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Mario Formica said. “Jeff always reminded me, as he had to remind himself, that missteps along the way do not disqualify us from our responsibility to still do good, to still help others, and to still love our fellow human beings.”


Atlantic County County Investigator Chris Popper said he learned from Grier’s approach to life.


“Despite what he was going through, Jeff made it a priority to ask how you were and consoled you if you were upset,” Popper said. “If I had to describe Jeff with any other word besides phenomenal, I would say selfless.”


“I’m phenomenal,” was always Grier's answer when asked how he was doing, those who worked with him recalled.


“For all of the people who had the honor of knowing Jeff, please know he would not want you to be upset,” Popper said. “Instead, he would want you to continue his legacy of being phenomenal.”

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