Marion, Arkansas police chief dies after COVID-19 battle

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Gary Kelley, the chief of police in Marion, Arkansas, died Tuesday after battling COVID-19 for 25 days, Crittenden County Sheriff Mike Allen said.

Kelley’s body was taken to Roller-Citizens Funeral Home in West Memphis Tuesday night. It was escorted by a host of law enforcement officers including officers from the Marion Police Department, West Memphis Police Department, Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office and Arkansas State Police.

Kelley served the city of Marion for 38 years and was only the second person to serve as chief in Marion. He was set to retire on February 28. Assistant Chief Brannon Hinkle was named as his replacement.

Kelley’s son confirmed the news, saying his father died Tuesday morning. Kelley was 63 and had been chief for 13 years.

According to family, Kelley got COVID on Dec. 2. He was put on ventilator in the hospital several days later. 

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