From Marine to Model Block Officer to NYPD Hero: The Story of Officer Vergara

Nelson Dejesus Vergara
Image credit: Freepik

Entrepreneurship and law enforcement agencies might not seem to have much in common at first glance, but there are several important connections between the two. One way that entrepreneurship can impact law enforcement agencies is through the development of new technologies and techniques that can be used to enhance police work.

For example, companies that specialize in developing advanced surveillance systems or data analysis tools can provide valuable resources to law enforcement agencies looking to improve their ability to prevent and solve crimes. Additionally, entrepreneurship can also provide opportunities for individuals who have previously worked in law enforcement to start their own businesses. This could include companies that provide security consulting services or private investigation services. By leveraging their expertise and experience in the field, these entrepreneurs can provide valuable services to a wide range of clients.

One example of a law enforcement agency or its military branch of service that has embraced entrepreneurship is the United States Marine Corps. The Marines have a long history of innovation and adapting to changing circumstances, and this has been reflected in their approach to entrepreneurship. Similarly, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has also been exploring the use of entrepreneurship to improve its operations. A Veteran in the field of entrepreneurship and law enforcement agencies is Nelson Vergara.

Nelson Dejesus Vergara is a retired NYPD detective, US Marine veteran, and founder of 360 Protective Solutions, a private security agency in New York. He has also served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and as a police advisor and instructor. After being involved in a shooting in 2012, he moved to upstate New York, where he studied Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Vergara has also received advanced security and management education from ASIS International, the Executive Protection Institute, and the NYPD. In 2021, he started 360 Protective Solutions and now serves as CEO. He was appointed as Chairman of the Working Group for the Board of Executive Protection Professionals and ASIS Executive Protection Mentorship Program in 2022.

Nelson Vergara was born in the US in 1975 in Queens, New York to Colombian parents. His mother worked as a food preparer for a commercial airline catering company, while his father was a jeweler. He is the youngest of six siblings and graduated from Middle College High School in 1994.

In 1995, Vergara joined the US Marine Corps and served until 1999, after which he worked as a security shift supervisor at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. He briefly re-enlisted as a US Marine Reservist in 1999 before returning to New York City in 2000 to begin the process of joining the NYPD. He founded 360 Protective Solutions, a company providing various protective services. The company has a team of professionals with expertise in risk assessment, security planning, and implementation, offering customized services to meet clients’ specific needs. Vergara and his team utilize the latest technology and highly trained personnel to ensure their clients receive the best possible services.

He retired from the NYPD in December 2021 but is still leading 360 Protective Solutions. Vergara is a recipient of the NYPD’s Combat Cross and is an active contributing law enforcement and security analyst for several news outlets. Vergara, a former US Marine, and New York Police Officer. Vergara served in various units of the US Marine Corps and was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Bosnia, and Iraq, where he worked as a Chief Police Advisor and developed an integrated field training program for new police officers. After September 11, 2001, he re-enlisted in the US Marines voluntarily.

He also worked as a Model Block Officer in Manhattan, NY, as part of the NYPD’s effort to target and clean up crime-ridden areas. On June 9, 2015, Vergara was awarded the Police Combat Cross, the second-highest departmental award of the New York City Police Department. The Police Combat Cross is awarded to police officers who, “having received Honorable Mention awards, successfully and intelligently performed an act of extraordinary heroism while engaged in personal combat with an armed adversary under circumstances of imminent personal hazard to life”. Vergara is the brother of John Lopez, an NYPD Detective (ret) who was awarded the Police Combat Cross.

Vergara is married to Maria Diaz Rojas and has two daughters, Jarelin, and Janessa. Maria is a textile and fashion designer college graduate from Ibague, Colombia. Vergara married Maria on April 14, 2008, in Bronx, New York. Officer Vergara’s story is one of remarkable service and dedication to his country and community. From his service as a Marine in Guantanamo Bay, Bosnia, and Iraq, to his work as a Model Block Officer in Manhattan, to his heroic actions on 9/11, Officer Vergara exemplified what it means to be a true hero.

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