Michael Delehanty has been described as dedicated, committed, and loyal. As the oldest of seven children, he was responsible for setting an example, and that obligation followed him through life and spilled over into both his career and his many friendships. He was a man who presented himself as tough on the outside, but he was described as teddy bear on the inside. That soft interior was especially evident when he was in the presence of children, and he was known to befriend every child who came into the police station, doling out candy and making them feel welcome.
A statement of his true loyalty and big heart was shared by his fellow police officers. On the day that Bella Bond was discovered on the shoreline of Deer Island, Delehanty took it upon himself to stand guard over the child until the investigation was completed at the site and the medical examiner could take the body. As the responding detective, his job was to pick apart the case and unlock the details, however; he took it a step further and refused to leave Bond’s side.
“He stood there for hours in the beating sun out of respect for her life, and we all knew that he could’ve assigned someone else to stand there, but he chose to do it himself,” said colleague and friend Sgt. Maryellen Crisafi, who knew Delehanty for 45 years.
In another incident, after Delehanty responded to home that was broken into, he went back to the house on his own time and fixed the door for the resident.
“He had a teddy bear heart and was dependable as a rock,” said Crisafi.
His many moments of dedication and loyalty went beyond the police department and were seen in his everyday life. His passion for helping others was especially evident in the volunteer work that he did for WINARC (Winthrop Advocacy, Resources, and Community). His commitment to the organization will be missed by both the members and his fellow volunteers.
“He fostered the relationship between the Winthrop Police Department and WINARC,” said board members. “He was instrumental in organizing the Driscoll-Meaghan Invitational which is an event that WINARC members look forward to every year. His commitment to our organization has been extraordinary and he will be greatly missed.”
These acts of loyalty are some of many that Delehanty displayed in his life, which is why his many friendships morphed into relationships that were more like family bonds. His life both on and off the police department blended together effortlessly, thanks to his willingness to sacrifice his own time to help others.
“Detective Delehanty was a dedicated public servant from a family of public servants in this town. The Winthrop Police Department and the entire community mourn his loss,” said State Sen. Joe Boncore. “My thoughts are with his wife Emily and the entire Delehanty family. I hope they find solace in the outpouring of support from the community these past few days.”