Virginia Beach Police Officer Rodney Pocceschi Memorial Challenge Coin
Commemorative Virginia Beach Police Officer Rodney Pocceschi Memorial Challenge Coin created to pay tribute to the ultimate sacrifice made by Virginia Beach police officer Rodney Poccheschi.
VIRGINIA BEACH — An emotional Jay Javey called his wife at 6:30 a.m. Monday with the news that a fellow police officer had been killed.
Rodney F. Pocceschi was killed on Dam Neck Road, just a few miles from their home.
“Let’s make a challenge coin in memory of him,” Javey told her.
Knowing that it could have been her husband, Javey’s wife, Afsaneh, said she put her computer graphic skills to work and designed a commemorative coin that would generate money for Poccheschi’s family.
With flowers, American flags and candles in the background, the couple unveiled the coin Friday at the site where Poccheschi was shot. The coin design — a shrouded Virginia Beach police badge on one side and Pocceschi’s selective enforcement team badge on the other with his name, the date of his death and the phrase, “the ultimate sacrifice” — was complete by the time Javey got home from work.
Javey planned to order 200 coins to sell to fellow law enforcement and rescue workers. But that night, he ordered 500 coins to be sold for $20 each. Pocceschi left behind a wife and baby boy. Every cent of the money is going to Pocceschi’s family, he said.
The Police Benevolent Association, Police Unity Tour and Police Supervisors Association all chipped in to pick up the production tab.
E-mail has a funny way of spreading information far and fast, Javey said. He started getting calls from Washington, D.C., Richmond and Williamsburg from people who wanted to order the coin.
On Friday, the coin made available to the public. The order has now gone up to 1,000 coins and the demand continues to grow. Javey said he is overwhelmed by the interest people are showing in the coin.
“I don’t think anywhere in the country you’ll find an outpouring from the citizens like this,” said Deputy Police Chief James A. Cervera.
Although he didn’t know his fallen comrade very well, Javey said when he learned of the shooting he needed to act.
“He was wearing the same uniform. It could happen to any police officer,” Javey said. “It was very important for me that his memory is going to be remembered.”
Pocceschi was murdered Monday after a traffic stop at about 3:25 a.m. resulted in a shootout with a man police say had just robbed an IHOP restaurant. The man, LeKeith D. Speller, also died.
Javey said he decided on a coin to commemorate his death because it lasts and can fit anywhere.
“Every time they pick this coin up, they’ll remember the fallen officer and the sacrifice,” he said.
Widow, son of slain Beach officer receive donations totaling $44,000.
BY DANIELLE R. ROACH, The Virginian-Pilot
VIRGINIA BEACH — It was nearly two months ago that Maria Pocceschi’s husband was gunned down in the line of duty as a Virginia Beach police officer. Since then, her grief has not become any easier to bear, nor her burden any lighter.
But on Sunday, it seemed her heart was uplifted as she gratefully accepted donations in memory of her husband, Rodney.
Under threatening skies, officers from the 4th Precinct gathered around her at their annual picnic to present her with two checks.
One totaling $22,000.00 presented to Mrs. Pocceschi by Officer Javey, whose wife designed a coin commemorating the life and death of Officer Pocceschi. Javey has already sold more than 1,000 of the coins, with orders from across the world still pouring in.
The second check, also for 22,000 was a gift from the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association and 58 individual eateries in Norfolk and Virginia Beach that donated 10 percent of their gross sales from the night of July 14. One restaurant in particular made a special sacrifice to keep their doors open and the money rolling in during the “Night Out for Rod.”
“The toughest part is missing him,” Maria said of her husband of four years. “I think about it the most when I’m putting Carson to bed. Just sitting with him in the quiet, rocking him to sleep, that’s when I think about it. And I don’t know how to explain to him why things happen, other than they must happen for a reason.”