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Edward Kelly, Decorated Milford Police Officer, Dies at 71

A 26-year veteran of the department, Kelly was instrumental in the development of the city's Neighborhood Watch Program and once served as Grand Marshall of Milford's St. Patrick's Day Parade.


Edward F. Kelly III, a decorated Milford Police officer who was the public face of the department for many years, died Feb. 14, 2013, surrounded by his family in Orlando, Fla. He was 71.

Kelly, a native of New Haven, enjoyed a long and distinguished career in law enforcement, beginning with the Milford Police Department in 1972. He served for seven years in the Patrol Division and, in 1979, he was assigned to the Crime Prevention Unit. Kelly became the director of the unit in 1982, as well as the Public Information Officer.

During his 26-year career in Milford, Kelly was recognized several times for his exemplary service. Among the awards he received, according to a release provided by the department:

  • The Medal of Merit
  • Meritorious Service Medal 
  • Seven Certificates of Commendation
  • Eight Letters of Recognition
  • Hundreds of complimentary/appreciation letters from the public, other law enforcement agencies and civic organizations

Crime Prevention and Public Service

Under Kelly's leadership, the Milford Crime Prevention Unit was presented with the Outstanding Crime Prevention Unit of the Year Award by the International Society of Crime Prevention Practitioners (1985 and 1989), as well as the United Way Gold Award (1989).

He also received the National Burglar Alarm and Fire Alarm Association’s Police Officer of the Year Award (1989), was named the Crime Prevention Association of Connecticut Officer of the Year (1996), as well as receiving the Milford Elderly Services Public Service Award. 

Additionally, Kelly was the past President of the Connecticut Law Enforcement Crime Prevention Association and was published in the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) periodical, The Guide.

He was a past member of the department’s Honor Guard, Field Training Program, and was a Certified Police Officer Standards and Training Council Police Instructor.

Kelly was also instrumental in establishing the department’s Neighborhood Watch Program, Drug Free Milford Coupons, safety programs for the elderly and a host of other programs that promote safety within the community.

In 1999, he was chosen by the Milford’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee to be the Grand Marshall of the parade.

'The Greatest Job on Earth'

Upon his retirement from the Milford Police Department, Kelly joined the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, in August of 2000, and again served with distinction. He was presented the Deputy Sheriff of the Year award in 2012.

Kelly retired Jan. 1, 2013, as a Deputy First Class working the Disney Sector 6 for the past 10 years. "And as only Ed could tell it," the Milford Department's release states, "had the greatest job on earth and loved every day of it!"

According to an obituary published by the Orlando Sentinel, Kelly is survived by his wife of 50 years, Constance; son, Edward Kelly IV and his wife, Anita; daughter, Kristine Keenan and her husband, Michael; grandson, Edward Kelly V; granddaughters, Kiley and Calla Keenan; and a step-granddaughter, Kristina Mejias.

Services are scheduled for Feb. 18 and Feb. 19 in Orlando.

Please feel free to leave your condolences for Mr. Kelly and his family in the comments below.

Ken Fellenbaum February 18, 2013 at 01:22 PM
As a former police commissioner, I am sadden to hear of Ed's passing. He was an excellent officer.
Bernard J Burns February 18, 2013 at 03:30 PM
As a former Milford resident and past chairman of the Board of Finance, I was sorry to hear of Ed's passing. Ed was one of the finest cops in Milford's history. My condolences to his family. Bernard J Burns
RONALD M GOLDWYN February 18, 2013 at 10:49 PM
While I did not personally know Mr Kelly, I offer the city and his family my sincere condolences. Our Lord took him much too early.
jabatti February 19, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Officer Ed Kelly and my Father, deceased as well, worked together to start our neighborhood watch. Officer Kelly was one of the nicest officers and person(s) to know and respect. He was a very kind, quiet, yet passionate officer and human being. I hope they meet again. Jennifer Battista
Ronald Kelley February 20, 2013 at 04:17 AM
As a former Milford resident and Police Explorer, I remember Officer Kelly fondly. He was a kind and thoughtful gentleman. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He will be missed. Ronald Kelley Jr.
Ed Viglione February 20, 2013 at 05:25 AM
I too, was a former Milford Police Explorer who later became a police officer for Milford PD. I worked with him on crime prevention activities and became one of the earliest people to don the McGruff, (the crime prevention dog) costume and attend local schools and events with Ed. I looked up to him and will miss him always. Rest in peace my mentor.
Maria Moore February 22, 2013 at 04:23 PM
My husband (Jeff Moore) and I lived in Milford all our lived until we moved to Jax, Florida 18 years ago. On a trip to Blizzard Beach in Orlando we had the misfortune of our car being broken into and of course everything was stolen. To our surprise Officer Kelly responded to the call! You cannot imagine the shock when he got out of his police car and walked up to us! As soon as I saw him I said.."I know you" and for a few minutes caught up with our lives...I worked with his daughter at People's Bank also. We are sad and hope the family finds comfort in the days ahead. Jeff and Maria Moore
Larry Sterback April 06, 2013 at 12:10 PM
I spent a lot of time talking to Ed when he worked traffic on our construction jobs. I never met a nicer person, I considered him a friend, Even though I lost touch with him after he retired, I would always think of him from time to time and wonder how he was doing. I am sad to hear of his passing, but I feel blessed that I got the time to spend with this wonderful person. God speed Ed. Larry Sterback

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