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Obituaries » Gerard (Gerry) Coleman
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October 18, 2016
Former Pinellas County Sheriff Gerard “Gerry” Coleman passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016.
Sheriff Coleman was at home with his wife when he died of natural causes. He was 78.
Sheriff Coleman worked for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office from 1960 to 1989. He started his career with the Sheriff’s Office as a patrol deputy. then became a detective and worked his way up the ranks to lieutenant before serving as sheriff from 1981 until his retirement in 1989.
During his tenure as sheriff, the department established its first internal affairs unit and victims’ advocate program. Sheriff Coleman was instrumental in bringing the 911 Center to the Sheriff’s Office in the 1980s as well as modernizing the agency’s technology, air wing and building, and improving the correctional facility on 49th Street in Clearwater.
Sheriff Coleman was active in a number of state level law enforcement associations. During his time as sheriff he served on the board of the Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches and the Fraternal Order of Police. He also served as president of all three organizations.
Before his retirement, the Sheriff’s Office received its first national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, the first in the state of Florida.
Sheriff Coleman is survived by his loving wife Barbara; sons, Kevin (Christie), Stephan (Leslie) and Frank (Katie); brother, Frank (Esmeralda); grandchildren, Delaney and Jack; and many nieces and nephews.
A viewing and prayer service for Sheriff Coleman has been scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday (Oct. 21) at David Gross Funeral Service, 830 N Belcher Road, Clearwater. The funeral service is scheduled at 10 a.m. Saturday (Oct. 22) at St. Cecelia Catholic Church, 820 Jasmine Way, Clearwater; with a procession and burial to immediately follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 5233 118th Ave. N, Clearwater.