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.
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