Morehead City hires David Kelly as next police chief

Crystal Coast

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. — Morehead City officials announced David Kelly as their new Chief of Police at Tuesday night’s regularly scheduled board meeting.

Kelly was chosen from a pool of more than 30 qualified applicants from across the nation in a search for a successor to Chief Bernette Morris.

Kelly has over 30 years of local, state, and international police experience. He began his career in 1991 with the Goldsboro Police Department where he served as a Patrol Officer, Detective, and as the Sergeant over the Detective Division. In 2006 Chief Kelly began working for the U.S. State Department as a contractor with DynCorp International in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on the Afghanistan National Police Program.

Kelly was the Deputy Contingent Commander and he oversaw all of the regional training centers, as well as all of the US Police Advisors that were forward deployed throughout the country of Afghanistan. Upon his return to the United States in 2009, Kelly was hired by the NC State University Police Department where he has served the majority of his time as a Major, having both managed the Support Services Division and the Field Operations, Division.

“I am excited to welcome David as an integral part of our leadership team with the Town of Morehead City, and look forward to the department growing in new and innovative ways with him at the helm,” said Ryan Eggleston, City Manager.

Kelly earned his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from NC Wesleyan College and his Master’s degree in Justice Administration from Methodist University. He is a graduate of the Administrative Officers Management Program, the Virginia School of Polygraph, and he has earned his Criminal Investigator Certification from the NC Justice Academy. Kelly has also received his Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from the NC Criminal Justice Education & Training Standards Commission.

“It was at a point in my career where I’ve always aspired to be a chief of police and I started to do my research and Morehead City came up and start research in Morehead City, not only the department but the town, as well. And I just felt like this was home,” said David Kelly, Morehead City Chief of Police.

He says it’s been a busy first week between highway 70 being shut down on Tuesday and the job announcement being announced during the town council meeting.

Kelly and his wife Susan are excited about calling Morehead City home. They have four sons and six grandchildren that are equally excited about all this great city has to offer.

He said one of the things he would like to focus on in his new position is community engagement.

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