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Hero Down: Hampden County Correctional Officer Ryan Patrick Kennedy Dies Unexpectedly

Springfield, MA – Hampden County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) Correctional Officer Ryan Patrick Kennedy died unexpectedly on Oct. 17.

The 36-year-old correctional officer’s exact cause of death was not immediately released.

“It is with the deepest sympathy and a heavy heart that Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi announces the passing of Correctional Officer Ryan Patrick Kennedy,” the HCSD said in a press release later that day. “Ryan, you will be forever missed, but NEVER forgotten. We extend our love, prayers, thoughts, and condolences to all of Ryan’s family, friends and colleagues.”

Correctional Officer Kennedy earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice and served four years as a Calvary Scout in the U.S. Army prior to joining the HCSD seven years ago, according to obituary.

He was well-known for his “tireless worth ethic,” and had recently been presented with the Hampden County SAFE award “for extricating, performing CPR, and successfully reviving an unresponsive crash victim, saving her life,” the tribute read.

Correctional Officer Kennedy and his partner, Correctional Officer Nicholas Husovsky had just dropped an inmate off at the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office on April 20 and were returning to Ludlow when they spotted a vehicle that had veered off of Route 9 in Williamsburg and crashed into a tree, the Fall River Reporter reported.

They stopped and ran to the wreckage to find a woman, Ellen Metzger, unresponsive inside.

The correctional officers busted out one of the vehicle’s windows and pulled her from the car, according to the Fall River Reporter.

Metzger did not have a pulse, so they began performing chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth recue breathing.

Emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene with an automated external defibrillator about five minutes later and Metzger ultimately survived, the Fall River Reporter reported.

She referred to the correctional officers as her “angels,” and attended the awards ceremony in May to personally thank them for saving her life.

Metzger said she was deeply saddened to learn that Correctional Officer Kennedy had passed away.

“This is such very sad news. I am devastated with the loss of this man who saved my life. I will forever be connected to Ryan,” she told the Fall River Reporter. “My deepest condolences to his family and friends and all at the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department. With love and gratitude, I wish you peace Ryan.”

Correctional Officer Kennedy leaves behind his longtime partner, Zandalie, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his parents, siblings, nephews, nieces, friends, uncles, aunts, and cousins.

Correctional Officer Kennedy was laid to rest on Oct. 25.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Hampden County Sheriff’s Department Correctional Officer Ryan Patrick Kennedy, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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