PAPD Lovebirds: Partners in Love, Blue and Serendipity

By Mercedes Guzman, Media Relations, Police Blogger

Twenty years ago, when Port Authority Police Lt. Kelly Hennessy first checked out her future husband, Lt. Michael Hennessy, he was in uniform, and everyone knows the kind of impression a man in uniform can make.

Complete strangers beforehand, the future power couple were assigned to the central police pool, but by a leap of faith, ended up working together on the same squad at the PATH Command.  The rest is history.

Like all good brothers and sisters in blue, their natural instinct was to protect one another.  Little did they know that after their first encounter, they would ultimately exchange marital vows, make a family and celebrate Valentine’s Day together forever.

Since they spent so much time together as work partners, they formed a close friendship that eventually deepened.  That their work relationship blossomed into romance seems hardly a surprise.  What is surprising is how much the Hennessys have in common:  Their grandparents were born in Ireland.  They both followed the call into law enforcement, and they share a love of the New York Yankees.

After four years of dating, Michael proposed to Kelly during a vacation in Ireland, but not before putting her through the “cage test” – he took her to a batting cage to see how well she could hit a baseball – where she far exceeded his expectations.  They have been marching in the St. Patrick’s Parade together ever since, literally.

Without hesitation, Kelly agreed to marry him. “Michael’s family are from Limerick and Cork,” says Kelly, “The church in which we were married is the church of both my grandparents.”  The destination wedding took place in County Cavan, with half the guests making the trip from America and the other half from Ireland.

Today, after almost twenty years of marriage and three beautiful children later – ages 14, 11 and 8 – the Hennessys are the essence of a true partnership.  They supported each other as they rose through the ranks in the police department – she is still at the PATH Command and Michael is assigned to the George Washington Bridge Command.  Because they each have different work schedules, someone is always home tending to the needs of the family.   “Mike handles everything with the kids and the house and is sometimes better than me!” Kelly admits.

Both Michael and Kelly agree that transparency is an important part of their relationship.  They don’t keep secrets, which has been a key ingredient to being together and working together.  What advice would they give to other couples?  “Have patience with one another,” said Kelly, “especially during difficult times.  Accept each other’s differences and most of all listen to one another.”

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