Thomas Edward Kellison


  • Cincinnati Police Officer  Badge P-256
  • Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Volunteer


Tom was born May 13, 1933 in Lafayette, Indiana. The family moved to Cincinnati in the early 1940s. On January 10, 1952, during the Korean War, Tom joined the United States Navy. He attended U.S. Naval Hospital Corpsman School in Bainbridge, Maryland, learned first aid and minor surgery, and graduated in September 1952. He also worked as an ambulance driver and in medical stores. Soon after, he shipped out to Korea with the Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine, 1stMarine Division and, for more than two years, practiced all phases of medical treatment, other than major surgery, for a 36-man platoon on the Korean front. Hospital Corpsman Third Class Kellison was honorably discharged on January 5, 1956 with a Good Conduct medal.

Tom joined the Cincinnati Police Division as a member of Police Recruit Class Number 35 on March 24, 1958. He was promoted to Patrolman on June 22, 1958, issued Badge 256, and assigned to District 2 (314 Broadway). He rotated to District 3 (3201 Warsaw Avenue) and District 1 (310 Lincoln Park Drive) in 1959 and 1960, respectively. On December 2, 1962, Patrolman Kellison was transferred to the elite Traffic Bureau. After ten years, he returned to District 1 on January 7, 1973. For years he was assigned to a Harley Davidson Police Special three-wheel motorcycle and was a well-known traffic officer at Sixth and Race Streets. Police Officer Kellison retired March 18, 1987 with almost 34 years of service to his country and community and 37 letters of commendation and/or appreciation including four from police chiefs and one from President Ronald Reagan.

Officer Kellison was also an artist with incredible, if somewhat unknown, talent. He often provided the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum with his creations for sale in their Gift Shop. When a plaster mold of the 1976 Cincinnati Police memorial statue was found in a basement and broken in three places, Officer Kellison repaired it and painted it. The statue now adorns the Museum at its entrance.

During 2011, Officer Kellison had surgery to repair degenerating discs in his spine. The pain did not seem to be resolved, but it did not deter him from working on his and/or the Police Museum’s projects until he died at 88 on September 7, 2021.