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'Family man': Naples police officer killed in off-duty crash remembered as loving father, husband


Jeffrey Reidy adored animals, especially his houseful of pets. He relished hiking, camping, fishing, off-roading and visiting theme parks like Universal Studios.

By all accounts, he loved his job as a sergeant with the Naples Police Department and serving his community.

He was a man who was a friend to many, say those who knew him.

More: GoFundMe account started to support family of Naples police officer killed in off-duty crash

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But most of all, Reidy cherished his family and spending time with his wife, Jennifer, and their four children — Gavin, Rylin, Emma and Charlie.

That was the portrait drawn of Reidy by friends, family and fellow police officers at a memorial service held to honor and bid him farewell Saturday at the Cambier Park band shell in downtown Naples.

Nine days earlier, Reidy died in a traffic crash while he was off duty and driving an SUV not far from his Estero home.

Hundreds attended the memorial service under a bright sun and blue skies, among them law enforcement officials — both local and from afar — first responders, firefighters and members of the public. Even two of his beloved dogs, Oliver and Chloe, were present.

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“Jeff was a family man,” Naples Police Chief Tom Weschler said during the service. “With Jeff, it was always about family. He was so happy to be around family.”

The chief summed up his remarks by reading a poem entitled “The Family Man,” saying it perfectly captured who Reidy was.

The memorial service was preceded by a brief procession to the park from Fire Station #1 on 8th Avenue South. It consisted of a color guard, the hearse and two black limousines, a squadron of uniformed police officers and a group of of bagpipers.

“This march is how we as law enforcement show our gratitude and respect to Sgt. Jeffrey Reidy’s selfless services to the city of Naples community for over 10 years,” said his close friend and retired police officer Ryan Harp prior to the event.

Reidy joined the Naples Police Department in 2011 and was promoted to sergeant in 2019. He served in many roles as a Naples police officer, among them patrolman, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) instructor, field training officer, DUI instructor, special victim crimes and domestic violence detective and as a high liability instructor. He became an expert on domestic violence cases and went out of his way to help women who had become victimized by their partners.

Chief Weschler and others told of how Reidy showed great empathy and compassion for those people in the community whom he helped and counseled, especially children and victims of domestic violence.

His wife, Jennifer, and their two older children, Gavin and Rylin, spoke during the service and related how special a husband and father he was.

“The best husband ever,” said his wife. “We complemented each other so well. … We made each other better.”

Rylin, who said she “was proud to call him my dad,” related how alike she and her father were.

“I feel like he’s never gone because he’s with me,” she said.

Gavin echoed the remarks of others by taking about their father's playful side.

“He was a man-child,” Reidy’s son said.

Other officers spoke of the admiration they felt for Reidy and what a great cop he was to work with.

Harp was Reidy’s partner for four years. He related how he once was injured by a drunken driver and Reidy was the first to arrive on the scene and then helped shepherd Harp through the ensuing tough times.

“Jeff Reidy was a great police sergeant, a great man, a great friend, a great husband and father,” Harp said.  

A GoFundMe account set up to assist the Reidy family has raised about $100,000, according to Harp, with hundreds of people donating money to help Reidy’s wife children in whatever way they see fit.

Officer Jeffrey Perry read a letter at the service that one stalking victim had written to the Naples Police Department expressing how grateful she was to Reidy for all that he had done to help protect her from a predator.

“To me,” she wrote in the letter Perry read, “he will always be a true hero.” 

And though he may have been a genuine hero, those who knew Reidy best will remember him a being a terrific husband and father. 

As Chief Weschler said, the best way to describe Jeff Reidy was really quite simple: “Family man, family man, family man.”