OCEAN CITY – Ocean City Police Officer First-Class Charles “Josh” Kelley this week was named as the recipient of the Ocean City Neighborhood Watch Association’s Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) “Officer of the Year” award, emerging from a field of impressive nominees for the annual honor during an award banquet on Monday.
On Monday, Kelley was named the 14th recipient of the annual Officer of the Year Award, handed out each year by the Ocean City Neighborhood Watch Association, which includes residents of seven communities in the resort including Caine Woods, Caine Woods II, Montego Bay, Little Salisbury, Bayshore Drive, Edgewater Avenue and Sundowner Park.
“I am truly humbled,” he said. “It is very motivating to come to work for a community like Ocean City because of the residents in our Neighborhood Watch Association, along with the men and women in the OCPD.”
Kelley was named Officer of the Year by the association from an impressive field of nominees that included Sgt. Mark Paddack, Dfc. Shawn Jones, Pfc. Andrew Yeager, Pfc. Aaron Morgan and Officer Joseph Melena. Last year’s winner was OCPD Detective/Corporal James Schwartz. Corporal Brian Mongelli won the award in 2007, long-time OCPD Lt. Scott Kirkpatrick won in 2006 and Officer-First Class Freddie Howard won the award in 2005.
Kelley completed two successful summers as a seasonal police officer for the department while continuing his education at Salisbury University before joining the OCPD as a full-time police officer in July 2006. He was Class Leader at the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy, achieving 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.
Perhaps one of Kelley’s biggest accomplishments was his service in the United States Marine Corps prior to joining the OCPD. While serving aboard the U.S.S. Oak Hill during Operation Enduring Freedom, Kelley was meritoriously promoted to the rank of sergeant. In addition, his role as a platoon sergeant earned him the Navy Commendation Medal in combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was discharged from the Marine Corps in May 2008 at the rank of staff sergeant after eight years of honorable military service.
The OCPD promoted Kelley to the rank of Police Officer-First Class last January. He is active in the training and recruiting of seasonal police officers and serves as an instructor at the entry level and seasonal police academy as a member of the drill and discipline team. Kelley also serves as a mentor to officers within the department and is involved in the Citizens Police Academy. The RAAM enforcement team, plainclothes operations, police mountain bike and school bus special enforcement.