Body of LAPD officer killed in Afghanistan to return to LA

The body of a 28-year-old Los Angeles police officer and Marine reservist killed while serving in Afghanistan will be returned to Los Angeles this week, police officials said today.

Joshua J. Cullins, a bomb specialist who was a staff sergeant in the military reserves, was killed in an Oct. 18 roadside blast in Helmand province. He was the second LAPD officer killed while on military duty in Afghanistan this year.

Cullins had disarmed roadside bombs in Iraq as well as Afghanistan, and two months ago survived a roadside explosion in Afghanistan that left him with a concussion.

Cullins had just two days left in the field as an explosive ordinance disposal technician when he was killed while investigating a bomb. He was scheduled to be home by Christmas.

He had been with the LAPD for three years and patrolled downtown. His goal was to join the department's bomb squad.

He enlisted in the Marines after graduating high school in 2000 and joined the reserves in 2007. His last tour of duty was with the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment.

A police and military ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday when his body arrives by military aircraft at Los Angeles International Airport.

On Nov. 2, a viewing is scheduled from noon to 8 p.m. at Deaton Hall inside the downtown Police Administration Building at 100 W. First St.

A nondenominational secular memorial service and honors ceremony will be held the following day at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels at 555 W. Temple St.

A private service will be held inside the cathedral at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 3, to be immediately followed by an honors ceremony in the cathedral plaza.

A funeral procession will then travel to Simi Valley for interment, with only family members and selected individuals taking part.

The Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union has opened an account to assist Cullins' family.

Checks payable to "Blue Ribbon Trust for Joshua Cullins'' should be sent to: Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union, Attn: Blue Ribbon Trust for Joshua Cullins, P.O. Box 10188, Van Nuys, CA 91410.