Date: Jan. 17, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Jim Kelley to Head N.C. Marine Patrol
MOREHEAD CITY — Looking back over nearly 25 years in the N.C. Marine Patrol, Jim Kelley will give you two words to describe the most important qualities a Marine Patrol officer should possess: integrity and professionalism.
Kelley plans to reinforce these qualities in his officers as he leads the Marine Patrol as its new colonel.
“When someone calls, you provide an answer, you act professionally and treat everyone fairly,” Kelley said.
Kelley will officially take charge of Marine Patrol Feb. 1. He will receive the golden eagle wings of a colonel at a pinning ceremony Jan. 27.
“Jim has vast experience in all the Marine Patrol districts of the state, so he’s seen all the various activities out there,” said Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. “His knowledge and understanding of the fisheries and rules, and his willingness to work with the fishermen as best he can, make him a good fit for colonel.”
Also, Kelley will hold the distinction of being the only Marine Patrol colonel in recent years to have held every Marine Patrol rank, rising from an enforcement officer to colonel.
His experience has earned Kelley the respect of his fellow officers, Daniel said.
“He’s had his boots in the boat and been involved in multiple investigations,” Daniel added. “He’s been out there shoulder to shoulder with these guys.”
Kelley has also worked in every Marine Patrol district.
He began his career with Marine Patrol in April 1989 as a field officer patrolling the Belhaven area. He was promoted through the ranks to sergeant, then lieutenant, moving to Dare County, then the Wilmington Area. In November 2008, Kelley was promoted to captain of the Wilmington Marine Patrol District, and then to Marine Patrol major in July 2013.
Kelley replaces former Col. Rex Lanier, who retired Nov. 1.
Kelley lives in the Carteret County community of Otway with his wife, Bonnie. He also has two grown children: stepson Jason Wheeler, of Wilmington, and daughter Kandice Dean, of Greenville.
Contact Kelley at 252-808-8130 or Jim.M.Kelley@ncdenr.gov.
The pinning ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 27 at the Division of Marine Fisheries headquarters, 3441 Arendell St., Morehead City. A photo of Kelley with his eagle wing pins will be posted following the ceremony at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/0127-colonel-kelley.