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|Retired Monroe police chief laid to rest Monday|
Former Monroe Police Chief James C. Kelly Jr. was laid to rest Monday at Hasley Cemetery in West Monroe.
Kelly passed away late last week. He was 86.
Kelly was police chief for the city of Monroe for almost 25 years, serving as chief from 1956 to 1972. He was appointed chief of police by then Mayor W.L. "Jack" Howard.
Monroe Police Chief Ron Schleuter said Kelly was a man of honor who was widely respected throughout the community.
"We were honored that the Kelly family would let us participate in the funeral ceremonies of Chief Kelly," Schleuter said. "It was wonderful hearing all the stories about Chief Kelly."
"He was a no-nonsense person who took care of business," Schleuter continued. "The generation this day couldn't work for Chief Kelly because when he gave a directive, there was no why, no questions. It was a different time back in the 50s and 60s.
"He was a great guy and a well-respected police officer and police chief. He was a Marine who came back from the war and went to work in law enforcement and got an education. He had that military style discipline and that's what he tried to instill in his men."
One of Schleuter's captains grew up with one of Kelly's sons. He said Kelly would often take them driving around town at night to check on officers on foot patrol.
"Chief Kelly would go around and tell the officers on foot beat that they had to check all the buildings," Schleuter said. "After that, he would sneak around and put thread across some of the thresholds, and if you didn't check the building, the thread would still be there. If you were assigned that zone and didn't check those buildings, he would come to the station, call you in and reprimand you for not doing what you were told.
"He was a hands-on chief who didn't put up with any nonsense. If he wanted you to check buildings, you checked buildings. You couldn't pull the wool over his eyes. He was a smart old guy."
Kelly was hired at MPD in 1947, and later promoted to sergeant in 1953. He served the city police as a patrol officer and also worked in the records, traffic and juvenile divisions.
Kelly also served in the Marines during World War II. He spent 37 months in the South Pacific with the First Marine Division.
Kelly was a graduate of the FBI National Academy, a member of the Masonic Lodge No. 465, and past president of the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police. He served in various civic organizations such as YMCA, Salvation Army, and the Kiwanis Club.
Funeral services were held under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home.