Children’s Advocacy Center honors fallen Naples officer, child abuse victims

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Sgt. Jeff Reidy at a previous pinwheel garden. Credit: Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County.

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County is planting a pinwheel garden to remember a Naples police officer who died in a car crash.

Sgt. Jeffrey Reidy of the Naples Police Department worked in the special victims unit, so he was a very familiar face to the Children’s Advocacy Center before his deathย in a car crash earlier this year. The Center says his passion to help others was evident in both his professional life and his personal one, adopting and fostering children with his wife Jennifer. And it says the legacy he left behindโ€”his commitment to helping kids and other victims of abuseโ€”lives on.

“He really believed in protecting these kids,” said Jackie Stephens with the Children’s Advocacy Center. “You know, this is a very difficult time for kids. And it’s a real point of crisis, when a report gets called in and it’s being investigated, sometimes family split apart… kids may end up being removed and put in foster care, or moved with another family member… there’s a lot of trauma around this. He was just very compassionate, and very caring, enough to do the best for these children.”

The Center will be placing hundreds of blue-and-silver pinwheels along the Naples Pier to bring public awareness to child abuse and honor Reidy. Florida Gulf Coast University students created the design, which will be in the shape of a handprint with a heart in it.

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