By Tech. Sgt. Monica Ricci, 439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 13, 2020
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Patrick Kelleher, a 58th Aerial Port Squadron port dawg, dons his police uniform in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Kelleher joined the West Springfeild Police Department shortly after returning from basic military training and technical school. (Courtesy photo)
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Patrick Kelleher, a 58th Aerial Port Squadron port dawg, poses for this basic military training photo at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Kellehar also serves his community as a police officer in West Springfield, Massachusetts. (Courtesy photo)
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Patrick Kelleher, a port dawg with the 58th Aerial Port Squadron, joined the Air Force Reserve to uphold the tradition of military service in his family.
His public service, however, doesn’t stop there. Kelleher is also a police officer in his nearby hometown of West Springfield.
Kelleher said he always knew public service was his calling. In 2011, he became an EMT in western Massachusetts’ largest city, Springfield, and earned multiple life-saving awards over the course of six years.
In 2016, Kelleher enlisted into the Air Force Reserve around the same time he got hired by the West Springfield Police Department.
“Two months after I got home from basic training and tech school, I went straight into the police academy,” Kelleher said. “It was a long year of training both mentally and physically.”
Though he is kept busy, Kelleher said both careers complement each other very well.
“The Air Force and law enforcement have both taught me resiliency, compassion and the importance of community caretaking,” he said. “They have given me the opportunity to meet people from all different backgrounds.”
Kelleher’s next goal is to attend Airman Leadership School and become an NCO. He also hopes to become a school resource officer in West Springfield to help build a positive relationship with the community.