Kay Albera received quite the surprise after dinner one evening when she answered a knock on her door to find four officers from the Delray Beach Police Department (DBPD) on her doorstep.
“I was sitting down watching T.V. when I heard someone at the door. I answered and found policemen on my doorstep!” Kay says. “When I saw them, I thought, ‘What did I do? What are they doing here?’ It was quite the shock.”
Despite their unexpected and surprising arrival, the DBPD officers made a visit to the Abbey Delray South community for a very special reason: to celebrate Kay’s 99th birthday.
After learning of Kay’s recent celebrations, establishing her as the longest living retired New York Police Department (NYPD) officer in the country, the DBPD took it upon themselves to celebrate Kay’s birthday and past achievements. With the help of the Abbey Delray South staff, Acting Lieutenant Joseph Grammatico, Acting Sergeant Chad Alpert, Officer Alex Smith and Officer Matthew Cusson surprised Kay with a spontaneous birthday party.
“At that time of night, I’m usually in my nightclothes already, watching T.V. I’m so glad I wasn’t this time,” Kay laughs. “They were all so nice. They took pictures with me and gave me some gifts. I kept wondering, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’”
After receiving her gifts, which consisted of a medal and DBPB patch, Kay shared stories and pictures of her past with the officers, recounting stories of when she served as a solider in the Marine Corps during WWII. She also shared her experiences of as one of the first two women sworn into the NYPD, and her life serving in the NYPD for 20 years before she retired from service. Kay also proudly spoke of her husband, who served as a police officer, as well as five of her sons and one of her grandsons who went on to become NYPD officers themselves.
“She’s very spunky,” says Joseph Grammatico, PDBP’s acting lieutenant. “She shared so much with us while we were there; she had all her photos ready to show us, told us her background with the NYPD, and all about each individual member of her family who also serves in police departments. It was incredible to hear.”
Check out the DBPD’s recount on their Facebook page here, and recent highlights in the news below!
As for future birthday celebrations, Acting Lt. Grammatico says the DBPB is happy to do this again. “We believe recognizing retired officers like Kay is important. We want to make sure they know we haven’t forgotten about them. We don’t want to do it for attention, we want to do it because it’s right.”