The Trinity community learned about the passing of Trinity University Police officer Marc Kelley on March 17. Kelley was responding to a fire alarm call when he collapsed.
Kelley worked with the Trinity University Police Department (TUPD) for three years. Fellow officers remember Kelley as a pleasure to work with, and his death served as a severe shock to TUPD. All officers were able to attend his funeral service to pay tribute.
â€œIt just hit you like a brick wall,â€ says sergeant Mark Vallejo, who was the honor guard at Kelleyâ€™s funeral. â€œOne minute I was clocking in and he was clocking out and the next minute he was in ICU.â€
For our TUPD officers, it was not only a shock, but also a reality that was difficult to accept because of Kelleyâ€™s youth.
â€œIt was really hard to accept because he was young and he died doing something over and over again, and thatâ€™s what made it a bitter pill to swallow,â€ says Joe Hernandez, who was the flag bearer at the funeral.
TUPD officers applaud and commend his hard work, dedication to his profession and his strength of character.
â€œI have known him for the three years heâ€™s been here. Mark was a very good worker and he was on the bike team. Heâ€™s always on time. We never had to follow him around; we gave him a job and heâ€™d do it. He was very patient and hard to anger. He did his job well,â€ Vallejo said. â€œWe couldnâ€™t have asked for anything better.â€
Marc Kelley is remembered not only as a hard worker who was dedicated to keeping the Trinity community 100 percent safe; he is also remembered as a team player.
â€œI did not speak to him as much because we were all just coming and going. He was a nice person and really quiet. He was known as a gentle giant because he was really nice and did not speak ill of anyone, said officer David Estrada.
Hernandez shares his sentiments when he got to know Kelleyâ€™s personally.
â€œWe shared a lot of our lives together. Mark never cursed, he joked around, but he never took it to an extreme,â€ Hernandez said. â€œI remember him as a gentle giant.â€