Sidney R. Klein, 78, passed away on March 18, following a courageous battle with melanoma. He died surrounded by the love and support of his family.

He was born in New York City, but grew up in the Miami area. At the age of 17 he enlisted in the Navy, and following his discharge, he began his 47 years in law enforcement as a deputy with the Dade County Sheriff’s Department. From there he went on to Lakewood, Colorado and while rising within the ranks, also earned his Master’s degree in criminal justice.

Klein became Chief of Police in Clearwater, Florida in 1981. He served in that capacity for 29 years and his innovative policies brought the department national recognition. He was inducted into the Florida Police Chief’s Wall of Honor in 2015.

His last decade was spent in Port St Joe, Florida, enjoying the beach and the bay. He travelled the country with his wife in their Airstream, and taught himself to play the guitar.

He is survived by his wife of 13 years, Kelly; his daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer and Jeff Bruty of Tampa; grandchildren, Hannah and Hayden Bruty; and sister, Stephanie Rinaldi of St Louis; as well as nieces and nephews.

There will be a private family celebration of his life. He will be missed greatly. In lieu of flowers, support your local first responders.