On Monday, October 25, Ocean City Police PFC Charles “Josh” Kelley was named Officer of the Year by the American Legion Post 166. In addition to PFC Kelley, Commander of Post 166, Sarge Garlitz, presented awards to Ocean City Emergency Services Paramedic of the Year, Derrick Simpson, Ocean Pines Volunteer Firefighter of the Year, Kevin Rosser and Ocean City Firefighter of the Year, Peter Kehne.
Pfc. Kelley was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. After graduating high school, he attended West Virginia University were he studied Wildlife Management. His education continued at Wor-Wic Community College, where he studied Business Management and Criminal Justice.
After college, Pfc. Kelley’s enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Aboard the USS Oak Hill during Operation Enduring Freedom, Pfc. Kelley was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Sergeant. His role as a Platoon Sergeant earned him the Navy Commendation Medal in Combat Operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Pfc. Kelley was deployed for nearly two years overseas where he served as a Communications Systems Specialist. He was discharged from the Marine Corps in May of 2008 where he obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant, after eight years of honorable military service.
Pfc. Kelley returned to his education at Salisbury University and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Interpersonal Communications and Conflict Resolution. In addition to completing his degree, Kelley completed two successful summers as a seasonal police officer, before joining the Ocean City Police Department as a full-time police officer in July of 2006. Pfc. Kelley was class leader at the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy, achieved a perfect pistol score as the class High Shooter Award, earned the highest Physical Fitness Award, and received the Leadership Award for his service to the academy.
Pfc. Kelley was promoted to the rank of Police Officer First Class in January 2009. He is active in the Training and Recruiting of seasonal police officers, an instructor at the entrance level and seasonal police academy as a member of the Drill and Discipline Team, and serves as a mentor to officers within the department. Pfc. Kelley’s “hard-charger” sense of Esprit de Corps keeps him motivated while actively involving himself as an instructor in the Citizen’s Police Academy, member of the R.A.A.M Enforcement, Plain Clothes Operations, Police Mountain Bike, and School Bus Special Enforcement. PFC. Kelley earned the Neighborhood Watch Officer of the Year Award for 2009 and the Knights of Columbus Officer of the Year Award for 2009.
Pfc. Kelley also volunteered and provided security during the 56th Inauguration of the President of the United States in Washington, D.C. in January of 2009. He is actively involved in the Marine Corps League, Toys for Tots Foundation, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the United States Marine Corps Executive Association. Pfc. Kelley is also a Marine4Life Hometown Link Liaison, an active member of his Neighborhood Watch Community Initiative, and actively supports the Wounded Warrior Project and Special Olympics. In addition to being a proactive patrol officer, Pfc. Kelley has volunteered and actively participated in training to include asset forfeiture, homicide scene management and narcotics interdiction.
PFC. Kelley currently lives in Salisbury, Maryland with his wife and daughters. When he is not working, he enjoys home improvements, cooking, hunting, fishing, and working outside. When asked how he felt about receiving the American Legion Officer of the Year Award he stated, “I am truly humbled. I am motivated to stand on the front lines everyday and serve the Ocean City community because of the residents and my brothers and sisters of the Ocean City Police Department – Semper Fi!”