Police Chief Terrence K. Colley (1938-2019)


The Greater Cincinnati Police Museum

“Preserving the History of Law Enforcement in the Greater Cincinnati Area”



Police Chief Terrence K. Colley

Terry was born April 9, 1938 Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Colley of Mt. Adams.  He attended Holy Cross School and Purcell High School where he was a member of Sodality, Civics Forum, and the Freshman and Junior Varsity Football teams.  He graduated during 1956.  He also attended one semester at Chase College in their Police Science Program and in 1973 earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Immediately after graduating high school, Terry joined the United State Marine Corps and served as an Assistant Machine Gunner in Company A, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, in the 1st Marines Division.  He was honorably discharged on April 15, 1958.

Terry joined the Cincinnati Police Division as the City’s 41st Police Cadet on July 28, 1958.  Cadet Colley served in the Juvenile Bureau and Central Station (the City jail in the basement of City Hall).  He was appointed Police Recruit on October 12, 1959 after finishing first in the competitive examination process.  On February 2, 1960, he was promoted to Patrolman, issued Badge 114, and assigned to District 2 (314 Broadway).  Patrolman Colley was rotated to District 6 (3295 Erie Avenue) a year later.  On August 28, 1961, he transferred to Traffic Bureau.  During 1966, the first ever examination was given for Police Specialist and he was one of the first group promoted on February 27, 1966, issued Badge PS-114, and assigned to Juvenile Bureau.  Six months later, Specialist Colley transferred to District 5 (1012 Ludlow Avenue) and then, two months after that, back to Juvenile Bureau.

On April 14, 1968, he was promoted to Sergeant, issued Badge S-33, and assigned to District 3 (3201 Warsaw Avenue).  A year later, Sergeant Colley began his fourth stint at Juvenile Bureau.  On September 14, 1975, he returned to District 5.  During 1978, he was assigned to the task force charged with hunting down the killers of Patrolman Burdsall and participated in the successful prosecution.  On October 7, 1979, he transferred to the Recruiting Unit of the Personnel Section.  During July 1983, he transferred to Internal Investigation Section.  Then, finally, he transferred to Inspections Section during 1986.  His commander assessed him to be “easily, one of the most competent sergeants in the Division.”  Sergeant Colley retired on October 1, 1988 with more than thirty years of service and 39 letters of appreciation and/or commendation.

Sergeant Colley was appointed Chief of the Pierce Township Police Department during June 1991. He has been described by another high-ranking officer as “the best chief I ever served under.” He retired again during April 2001 after another ten years of service.

He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Sergeant Colley has had numerous medical issues over the last few years and some culminated in pneumonia which hospitalized him.  At 3:20 p.m., on December 8, 2019, he passed away at Anderson Mercy Hospital.  He was 81.

He was predeceased by his wife, former Cincinnati Policewoman, Margaret M. (Murphy) Colley and sister-in-law JoAnn Colley.  Sergeant Colley is survived by his wife, Patricia A. (Hand) Colley; children, Thomas (Sherrod) Colley, Kathryn (James) Kluener, Terrence (Charlotte) Colley, Ann (William) Jett, retired USAF Captain Timothy (Lynn) Colley, Bridget (Michael) Nieman, Adam (Carly) Hemsath, and Courtney Hemsath; 21 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and brothers, Jerry Colley and Joseph (Carol) Colley.

A visitation will be held 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday, December 12, 2019 at Meyer Funeral Home at 5864 Bridgetown Road.  A F.O.P. service will be held at 11:45 a.m.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1 p.m. at St. Lawrence Church at 3680 Warsaw Avenue.

Memorials may be made to the St. Lawrence Education Fund, 3860 Warsaw Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45205.


© 2019 – All rights reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum




Leave a Comment