Jack Steven Joyce was a U.S. Army Military Police K9 Dog Handler in Vietnam. Among the dangerous missions assigned to Jack, his German Shepherd, and Jack’s fellow MP’s was to patrol roads frequented by U.S. Military personnel and prevent the enemy from planting land mines and IED’s on the patrolled roads.
These patrol’s were also conducted in the dark of night when the enemy thought they would be undetected, however the K9’s could alert to the enemy’s presence not only by sight, but also by sound and scent.
In civilian life Jack went on to join the Pompano Beach Police Department (Florida) attaining the rank of Detective-Sergeant.
Contributor: Maxwell Smart (50281772)
Pompano Beach Police Detective Sgt. Jack Joyce, who was named the department’s officer of the year in 1986, died at his home on Friday from what is thought to have been a heart attack. He was 41.
Sgt. Joyce, who moved to Pompano Beach in 1974 from Scott Depot, W.Va., started with the department that year and served as a patrol officer, plainclothes officer, detective and in internal affairs.
“He was one of the best detectives the city ever had,” said Sgt. Mario Indiviglio, who worked with Sgt. Joyce for 17 years.
Sgt. Joyce’s work in 1986 included an arrest in a case in which a woman and her grandson were terrorized and assaulted by a knife-wielding burglar who locked them in a closet, ransacked their house and fled in the woman’s vehicle, police said.
He was named the city’s officer of the month four times and received many letters of recognition and commendation.
He was a Vietnam veteran.
He is survived by his wife, Deborah, of Pompano Beach; four daughters, Jennifer, of West Virginia, Jacqueline, of Margate, and Lindsay and Katherine of Pompano Beach; his mother, Betty, of West Virginia; a brother, John “Bill,” of West Virginia; and a sister, Jodi Joyce-Stover, of West Virginia.
Services will be at 11 a.m. on Monday at the First Baptist Church, 138 NE First St., Pompano Beach. Arrangements are being handled by Kraeer Funeral Home, 200 N. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach.
Memorial contributions may be made to Kids in Distress.
If it is of interest, at the time of Jack’s death he lived at 360 SE 1st Ave., Pompano Beach, Florida (photo below). It’s my personal belief that Jack had chosen this location to live because it was only two blocks from the Pompano Beach Police Station where he worked. Jack had his fatal heart attack on March 27th, 1992 in the backyard while touching up the paint on the house on his day off.
I have always contended that it was the stress of Jack’s job (Rape, Robbery, Homicide Detective) that took him at such a young age. Any of the MP’s that knew him in Vietnam would tell you that Jack was truly as tough as nails and could eat rusty nails for breakfast, but at the same time he was a caring person and the horrible things he would see on the job, especially if they involved children, took its toll on Jack’s health, at least that is what I personally believe. Though he survived Vietnam, he eventually sacrificed all in civilian law enforcement and he is missed by many.
As a side note, one time I was with Jack and a song came on the radio, it was the The Hollies singing “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother” and Jack said to me “Do you know what this song is about?” I said what I had always believed the song was about, I said to Jack “It’s about an over-weight kid who is made fun of, but the singer of the song doesn’t see the over-weightness, only that the kid is a fellow friend”. Jack said “No, it’s about Vietnam” (carrying the wounded). I got an education that day.