Home > News > 

Ariz. officer dies after 3 years fighting disease

As you remember these fallen officers, take comfort in recalling that they dedicated their lives to the same principles of honor, duty and courage that brought you to the badge. Such a life is truly rich. Take strength in knowing that when an officer falls, our resolve to serve those in need is not diminished. Our dedication to protecting those in danger is not weakened. Our commitment to remembering those with whom we shared the badge does not fade.

Godspeed, brothers and sisters. You fought the good fight. Now rest in peace…

September 19, 2011

Print Register RSS What's This

Ariz. officer dies after 3 years fighting disease

Officer Down: Mark Kelly - [Mesa, Arizona]

By PoliceOne Staff

MESA, Ariz. — An officer died Sunday after spending 3 years fighting a debilitating disease that relegated him to a desk job at his department.

Mark Kelly, 32, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2008 after suffering extreme fatigue, according to The Arizona Republic. Sources say during a trip to the shooting range, he was too weak to pull the trigger.

Colleagues and city workers, many of whom Kelly had never met, donated vacation time so he could maintain benefits and remain on the city payroll. As his mobility became more limited – ALS causes gradual paralysis – Kelly continued to work at a computer taking reports in order to support his wife and five children.

Police unions and administrators fought to allow Kelly to continue to work when the city attempted to eliminate his job in 2010.

"There's always somebody that's broken, that's hurt and needs something more," said Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead. "It's our job, as well as on the humanistic end, that we as an organization look out for these people. You just can't write people off."

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of PoliceOne or its staff.

Denotes officer was a registered member of the PoliceOne Community

PoliceOne Offers

Back to Officer Down Section


Support the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and help honor America’s law enforcement officers – especially our fallen heroes



Concerns of Police Survivors

COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors) provides resources to assist in the rebuilding of the lives of survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

TASER Foundation

The TASER Foundation’s mission is to honor the service and sacrifice of local and federal law enforcement officers lost in the line of duty by providing financial and edcuational support to their families.

More Officer Downs

All Officer Downs

Tribute Videos

We ride for those who died Tribute for fallen officers Never alone, never forgotten Police Week Tribute
logo for print