BEHIND THE BADGE
Sheriff's new spokesman has the respect of others
After a decade behind the scenes, Sheriff's Sgt. Todd Kelly steps into the spotlight
Published: Friday, January 14, 2011 at 6:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 14, 2011 at 6:11 p.m.
Editor's note: This is part of a weekly series profiling the extra efforts of area law enforcement and public safety officers to serve their community.
Alachua County Sheriff's Sgt. Todd Kelly has done a lot at the agency — narcotics investigations, the dive team, criminal investigations, a K-9 unit — and all have been largely out of the public eye.
But Kelly's new assignment will change that in a big way: He has been named the Sheriff's Office's new public information officer by Sheriff Sadie Darnell.
"I've got a ton to learn and like I told the sheriff — the only thing I can promise is to give 100 percent and to be respectful and represent her the best I can," Kelly said. "I want to give the agency 100 percent, just like I have everything else."
Kelly began his law enforcement career in Brevard County, where he was raised in the Melbourne area. He first became a jail correctional officer there. He later joined the ranks of the deputies.
At the time, Kelly's girlfriend, Maria, was an undergraduate at the University of Florida. He relocated to Gainesville after her graduation so they could get married while she attended UF's College of Medicine. Kelly has worked for ASO since 1999 and his wife is a local physician.
"One of the things I've been blessed with at the Sheriff's Office is an opportunity to move around the agency and get a taste of everything," he said. "I started in patrol and then went to the K-9 unit. From there I went to criminal investigations and worked everything from property crimes, financial crimes, deaths and homicides."
In late 2007 he was promoted to sergeant, became a road supervisor and then joined a drug task force that includes officers from ASO, Gainesville Police and University Police.
Kelly, who has a young son and daughter, said he enjoys being with his family and mountain biking in his free time.