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CCSO honors slain FMPD officer with Tacos & Tequila fundraiser

Post Date:09/12/2018 2:00 PM

David Miller paid for his son to attend the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy in 2015. Had he not paid, Officer Adam Jobbers-Miller would not have been able to afford it. And without that opportunity, the 29-year-old might not have gotten to pursue his dream career as a member of the Fort Myers Police Department.

Now thanks to a coordinated effort between the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and Tacos & Tequila Cantina, a handful of future public servants will receive academy training. A joint fundraising event earlier this summer raised $5,000 toward a scholarship fund in Jobbers-Miller’s name after he was shot on duty and died from his injuries in July. Tacos & Tequila matched the proceeds for a total of $10,000 toward the scholarship.

“It’s amazing what everyone’s done,” Miller said.

Attendance to the academy costs about $3,300. Academy Director Todd Everly said the $10,000 might be used to cover a student’s entire tuition or doled out to several students in smaller increments, but all recipients will be chosen based on need. Students who are being sponsored by an agency or who are receiving another type of loan, will not be eligible.

“This is for the men and women that are coming through, living in the garage at their mom’s home, or living in cars – and we have them,” Everly said. “We have them coming in and they’re just barely making enough dough, because they cannot work during that five-and-a-half-month period when they’re attending the academy.”

The fundraising event at Tacos & Tequila was organized in part by deputies in North Naples, including two CCSO members who attended the academy with Jobbers-Miller. Cpl. Katina Studzinski and Cpl. Nathalie Wilson said Jobbers-Miller was somewhat reserved during class, but was usually the upbeat one during physical training.

“We would be running a bridge and he would be the one to laugh about it,” Cpl. Studzinski said. “As bad as it was.”

Jobbers-Miller also once claimed that the pencil he used to take exams was a lucky one.

“There were a couple guys who struggled and he would stay after and help them. He gave his lucky pencil to this guy stressing out over one of the tests and he passed,” Cpl. Wilson said. “He would give you whatever you needed.”

Classmates in the academy updated each other in a group message when they learned Jobbers-Miller was shot by a fleeing suspect July 21. He died a week later. Only then did they also learn that he had become an officer in part because he has lost his brother to a drug overdose in New Jersey.

“He wanted to get drugs off the street. We all knew he was a firefighter up there, but he never made that part known,” Cpl. Studzinski said. “He never really wanted to be the center of attention.”

Deputies presented representatives from the academy with the $10,000 check at the Tacos & Tequila in the Pavilion shopping center Wednesday morning. Jobbers-Miller’s parents, David and Patricia, and his fiancée Jamie were in attendance as well as officers from local law enforcement agencies and Sheriff Kevin Rambosk.

“Hopefully it motivates someone to do what he wanted to do,” Cpl. Wilson said.