Richard R. Kelly Memorial Award
June 23, 2022
Law Enforcement, Fire and EMS Honor One of Their Own
Members of area law enforcement, the Walton Fire Dept. and EMS, friends and local dignitaries paid tribute to one of their own, Richard R. Kelly by attending a memorial award service in his honor on Thursday, June 23 at the J. Small Range in Delhi. This year's award recipient was Windham Police Officer Thomas Parquez.
"We initiated the Richard R. Kelly Memorial Award to honor Rich's outstanding dedication and commitment to law enforcement. He epitomized firearm safety, knowledge, patience and communication skills," explained Capt. James Small Delhi Police Department training Coordinator. "These are the traits we chose in selecting Officer Parquez for the award this year." The award, in the form of a plaque, will have the recipient's name engraved on it each year and will be displayed in the range classroom. A framed certificate will be given to the recipient to keep.
The selection was made at the culmination of the NYS Firearms Instructor Course given at the range. The 12 officers who participated included those from, Hannaford Security, SUNY Oneonta, NYPD, Nassau County Sheriffs, Ulster County Police, NYS DMV, Sidney Police, Fort Plain Police and Colchester Police.
An opening prayer at the ceremony was given by Pastor Lisa Mays, a civilian who participates in the ladies shooting classes offered at the range. Also in attendance were other female shooters who fondly remember Kelly's patience and expertise, including Nora Baruso, Heather Hilson, and Betsy Mazurak.
Local officials in attendance included Walton Town Supervisor Joe Cetta, Walton Mayor Ed Snow, district Attorney John Hubbard, Delaware County Sheriff Craig DuMond and Delhi PD Chief Mike Mills, among others.
At a barbeque following the presentation, Kelly's wife, Mary Torma-Kelly, shared a voluminous scrapbook she had compiled outlining her husband's career.
"Rich had 35 years of service in the Walton Fire Department and EMS and over 20 years in Law enforcement," she noted. "His career ran the gamut of service to the community."
In closing, Small said, "Rich would help you go anywhere and do anything. He never asked, 'What's in it for me.'"