CLEVELAND (WJW)– Cleveland police officers and union members are hoping to raise money to help a retired officer who was seriously injured on the job.
Former SWAT Officer Jonathan Rodriguez, who is now paralyzed, needs a surgery that could help improve his quality of life.
“We are hoping to raise a good amount of money so he can get another surgery and hopefully it will improve his quality of life,” said Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Jeff Follmer. “He has a great family behind him and his family needs the public right now. We are going to help as much as we can but we also need the help from the public.”
On June 5, 2020, Rodriguez was with the SWAT team headed to a call at about 3:30 a.m. when the van they were traveling in was hit by a car on East 18th Street near St. Clair Avenue. Several of the officers were trapped and Rodriguez suffered a spinal cord injury, which left him paralyzed. He had to retire in September at the age of 31
He and his wife have two young children.
The Rodriquez family has exhausted all Bureau of Workers Compensation and medical insurance options, and union officials said the expense of this procedure will fall entirely on the family.
“His wife researched and found this surgery and it’s an advanced procedure,” said Cleveland Police Officer Chris Porter. “We are hoping to raise about $75,000 to help with medical expenses. He and his family didn’t want to ask for anything. But we wanted to help. He was doing his job as police officer when he was injured so we want to take care of the officers when they need us.”
If you are interested in learning more on how to help, click here.