Virginia Beach, VA – Virginia Beach Master Police Officer Kelvin Bailey died of an apparent heart attack on Nov. 17, while he was working in uniform at a “secondary employment” security job at a bingo hall, according to his department.
Officer Bailey, 51, was rushed to the hospital just after midnight, where emergency personnel worked “tirelessly” to save his life, Virginia Beach Police Officer Tonya Pierce told The Virginian-Pilot.
Despite their efforts, he did not survive, Officer Pierce said.
“We didn’t expect it and we’re all shocked,” Virginia Beach Master Police officer Lissa Bauder told WAVY. “When I went up to the hospital and saw the fire department and the flag hanging out in front of the hospital, it was very touching because we all are one big family and we're all grieving.”
Officer Bauder said that the 30-year law enforcement veteran was well-known in the community as a happy, welcoming person.
"He's a great guy, he was always greeting everybody with a large smile,” she said. “It didn't matter how long you've been on the department. Whether you were brand new to the department or if you had been on the department for a long time, you were Kelvin's friend.”
His fellow officers described him as a “big teddy bear,” WAVY reported.
Officer Bailey worked for the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office for several years before he joined the Virginia Beach Police Department over 25 years ago, according to WHSV.
"He was one in a million," his longtime friend, Petersburg Police Chief Kenny Miller, told The Virginian-Pilot. "He was the epitome of a community police officer. He loved policing, because he loved people."
Officer Bailey taught self-defense, driving courses, and conducted firearms trainings at the academy, and also worked as a detective in several divisions with the department throughout his career.
Officer Bailey also served his community by coaching multiple youth sports teams over the past 20 years, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
“He always loved helping troubled youth,” fellow football coach Roger Wilson told WAVY. “He personally extended his hand out to one of my sons, so I owe the man a debt of gratitude.”
“It was not just about the job for him,” Wilson explained. “It was about helping people. And I know personally how much he has helped young people today, and we are all going to miss him.”
Virginia Beach Mustangs Sports Club Commissioner Bruce Pearl said Officer Bailey had a special way of working with children, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
"Kelvin was one of the few coaches who could get the kids' attention without yelling at them," Pearl recalled. "That's something I always admired about him."
Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office Corporal Brandon Mullen said that when he was 15, he played on one of Officer Bailey’s basketball teams.
"He was always encouraging, he was always teaching," Cpl. Mullen explained. "A lot of the lessons I learned from him I use in my law enforcement career."
He didn’t allow his players to gloat, and taught them to remain humble and to treat others with respect, the corporal said.
Officer Bailey will be laid to rest on Saturday, according to his obituary.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Virginia Beach Master Police Officer Kelvin Bailey, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.