Cover photo for James E Griffin, Jr.'s Obituary
James E Griffin, Jr. Profile Photo

James E Griffin, Jr.

December 18, 1961 — October 6, 2023

James E Griffin, Jr.

James E. Griffin Jr., 61, of Providence, RI, a retired member of the Rhode Island State Police and an international security expert who provided security for some of the top music moguls in the country, died Friday, Oct. 6, from injuries suffered in a recent highway crash.

He is survived by his wife, Michala Hilario, his stepdaughter, Rylie, and numerous friends and colleagues.

Mr. Griffin was the son of the late James E. Griffin Sr. and Margaret E. Griffin. He graduated from Cumberland High School and the University of Rhode Island, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics.

He then became a member of the Rhode Island State Police, where he served 17 years as a state trooper and corporal, working in the patrol, motorcycle and K-9 units until a job-related back injury forced him to retire in 1996.

He went on to join the elite Blackwater international private military firm, where he was assigned to the security team responsible for protecting former U.S. Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, who was overseeing the reconstruction of the war-torn Iraqi government following the U.S. invasion there in 2003.

He later provided personal security for the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia for seven years before forming  his own private security company, providing personal protection for numerous high-profile individuals, including Jay-Z and Beyonce, Drake and other award-winning hip-hop, R&B and rap artists.

He went on to become a board member at the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center in Providence, the first medical and adult-use cannabis dispensary in Rhode Island.

His death is a tremendous loss for all of those who loved him, and he will be dearly missed in the days and years to come.

Jimmy’s family and friends would like to give special thanks to the many police officers, firefighters and rescue workers who responded to the crash scene, as well as the healthcare providers at Rhode Island Hospital for the exceptional compassion and care provided to Jimmy following this tragedy. We are all profoundly grateful.

His visitation will be held on Friday evening from 4-8pm in the Nardolillo Funeral Home 1278 Park Avenue, Cranston.  Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday morning at 10am in St. Joseph’s Church, Mendon Road, Cumberland.  His burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: St. Jude Memorial Fund, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
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