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Tuesday October 13, 2009

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly Announced As 2010 Grand Marshal

Members of the New York City, St Patrick's Day Parade Committee at last week's press conference in New York announcing the 2010 Grand Marshal. (L to R) NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly - Grand Marshal 2010 Parade, John Dunleavy Parade Chairman and addressing the media Parade Executive Secretary Hilary Beirne

The New York City St Patrick's Day Parade Committee is pleased to announce the Grand Marshal of the 249TH Parade will be New York's City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

Commissioner Kelly will lead the marchers up Fifth Avenue on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 for the 249th consecutive St Patrick's Day Parade in New York City. The Parade is the world's oldest and largest civic parade and celebrates "The Faith of Ireland, Irish heritage and Culture".

John Dunleavy, Chairman of the Parade, said "We are truly delighted that Commissioner Kelly has been unanimously selected as the 2010 Grand Marshal. He is a man who is beloved in the Irish-American community in the United States. He is an outstanding Irish American who has devoted a huge amount of his considerable energy and charisma to building enduring and durable ties between Ireland and America and the rest of the world. We know that his selection will be a widely popular one."

The New York City St Patrick's Parade marched for the first time in 1762, fourteen Years before the Declaration of Independence was signed in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. The Parade is regarded as the most popular of the all the Parades in New York City, and honors Saint Patrick - the patron Saint of the Archdiocese of New York and Ireland. The New York Parade consists only of marchers and each year hosts some 250,000 marchers and two million spectators. The Parade has many great marching bands, bagpipers in marching formations, high-school and college bands from throughout the United States and from all over the world.

Raymond W. Kelly was appointed police commissioner of the City of New York by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in January 2002, making Commissioner Kelly the first person to hold the post for a second, separate tenure.

Under Commissioner Kelly's leadership, in 2002 the NYPD became the first municipal police department in the country to create its own counterterrorism bureau and global intelligence program. Despite the dedication of extensive resources to these activities, the Police Department has driven crime down by nearly 40 percent since that time.

Commissioner Kelly was formerly senior managing director of global corporate security at Bear Stearns. Before that, he served as commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service, where he managed the agency's 20,000 employees and $20 billion in annual revenue. For his accomplishments at Customs, Commissioner Kelly was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Medal for Exceptional Service.

The Kelly family (L to R) Greg Kelly (son) Veronica Kelly (wife) Commissioner Ray Kelly and James Kelly (son)

From 1996 to 1998, Commissioner Kelly was Under Secretary for Enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department. There he supervised the department's enforcement bureaus, including the U.S. Customs Service; the U.S. Secret Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

In addition, Commissioner Kelly served on the executive committee and was elected vice president for the Americas of Interpol, the international police organization, from 1996 to 2000. He also served as Director of the International Police Monitors in Haiti, a U.S.-led force responsible for ending human rights abuses and establishing an interim police force there. For this service, Commissioner Kelly was awarded the Exceptionally Meritorious Service Commendation by the President of the United States.

A 40-year veteran of the NYPD, Commissioner Kelly served in 25 different commands before being appointed Police Commissioner by Mayor David N. Dinkins in 1992. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps who served for three years on active duty, including a combat tour in Vietnam. He retired as a colonel from the Marine Corps Reserves after 30 years of service.

Commissioner Kelly holds a BBA from Manhattan College, a JD from St. John's University School of Law, an LLM from New York University Graduate School of Law, and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has been awarded honorary degrees from Marist College, Manhattan College, the College of St. Rose, Quinnipiac College, St. Thomas Aquinas College, Iona College, New York University, St. John's University, Pace University, the Catholic University of America, and the State University of New York.

In 2006 Commissioner Kelly was awarded the French government's highest honor, the L├ęgion d'Honneur.

Raymond Kelly traces his Irish heritage to the West of Ireland in the counties of Roscommon and Longford.

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