Billy Kelly has been appointed Chief of Police for the Rockingham Police Department effective April 5, 2012.
City Manager Monty Crump issued a press release on Friday about the final decision:
“I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Interim Chief Billy Kelly to become Chief of Police of the Rockingham Police Department effective April 5, 2012,” Crump said.
Kelly has been employed with Rockingham Police Department for almost 20 years. He was hired by RPD in November 1992 and has risen through the ranks from patrol, investigations and supervisor to become Police Chief, the city manager said. Kelly has both an associate degree and bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and is currently enrolled at NC State University in the Law Enforcement Management Program, with expected graduation in March 2013. Kelly is currently the School Director for Basic Law Enforcement Training at Richmond Community College and is the district liaison for the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. He also holds his Advance Law Enforcement Certificate.
Prior to his appointment as Police Chief, Kelly has served as Major/Assistant Chief for 10 years at the Rockingham Police Department and has acquired a thorough working knowledge of law enforcement administration, Crump said. Kelly is married and he and his wife, Shannon, have two sons, Cameron and Blake. Kelly is a Richmond County native and resides with his family in Rockingham.
“Billy is extremely qualified to serve as Chief of Police of the Rockingham Police Department. He has served in virtually every capacity at RPD and has risen through the ranks to become chief,” said Crump. “He has proven his loyalty and dedication to law enforcement and commitment to our community by both his distinguished service and career professional development.
“I have received universal and unsolicited strong recommendations of support from the entire law enforcement community on behalf of Billy Kelly to be appointed Chief of Police. Cooperation among law enforcement agencies is critical in keeping our streets and communities safe for law abiding citizens. Chief Kelly understands law enforcement from top to bottom, and possesses the management experience, professional and education qualifications along with character and reputation to be a highly effective and successful Chief of Police. His leadership will enable the Rockingham Police Department to continue its mission to make Rockingham a safe place to live and work for all its citizens,” Crump said.
Interim Chief Kelly said he was excited to serve as the new chief of police.
“I’m excited about serving the citizens of Rockingham in this capacity,” Kelly said. “I want to thank the mayor, the city manager, and the city council for having confidence in me and I will work very hard to keep that confidence. I look forward to working closely with Sheriff Clemmons and Chief Haywood in making the City of Rockingham and Richmond County a better place.”
Surrounding law enforcement agencies were also happy to hear the official word.
Chief John Haywood of the Hamlet Police Department said he feels that Kelly is very deserving of the title.
“I’m very glad to hear it,” Chief Haywood said. “We worked together while we were going to college, we went to college together for Criminal Justice, we went into law enforcement at the same time — he went to Rockingham and I went to Hamlet — and we went up through the ranks together. He’s fair and impartial and he’s been doing a great job for the Rockingham Police Department. I’m happy for him.”
Richmond County Sheriff James Clemmons Jr. called the decision “a good move.”
“Billy Kelly is the ultimate professional,” Sheriff Clemmons said, “and I have confidence in him that he will do a great job for the citizens of Rockingham and also Richmond County because all of us are going to work close together to make sure we reach that common goal, which is to protect and serve the city. So I tip my hat to those that made the decision to give Billy Kelly an opportunity to display his leadership.”
“City Council and I are very pleased with the appointment of Chief Billy Kelly by our city manager, Monty Crump,” said Rockingham Mayor Gene McLaurin. “Chief Kelly is very deserving. He has the confidence of all of our city officials and the law enforcement community throughout the county. He’s well respected for his active involvement in the Governor’s Highway Safety Program as well as the Basic Law Enforcement Program at Richmond Community College. We have an excellent team at Rockingham Police Department and we congratulate Chief Kelly on his appointment.”
Kelly had been named Interim Police Chief in February to replace Robert Voorhees, who resigned from the post earlier this year.
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 16, or by email at email@example.com.