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MOREHEAD CITY – Jim Kelley was recently promoted to captain of N.C. Marine Patrol District 3, which encompasses the southern coastal area of the state.

Kelley received his captain pins Nov. 8, moving into the position formerly held by Rex Lanier, who was promoted to Marine Patrol colonel in June.

Lanier described Kelley as a great public servant, the type of person who will go out of his way to get answers to people’s questions.

“He’s rock solid,” Lanier said. “His knowledge of fisheries rules, his experience and dedication to the job made him a perfect candidate.”

Kelley began his career with Marine Patrol April 1, 1989, as a patrol officer in Belhaven. He was promoted to sergeant in November 1999 and transferred to District 1 in the Outer Banks area.

He obtained the rank of lieutenant in August 2003, and a few months later transferred to District 3. Marine Patrol District 3 encompasses coastal and joint waters from the N.C. 58 bridge in Emerald Isle to the South Carolina state line.

Kelley, a former commercial fisherman, said that he has always enjoyed working on the water, and being a Marine Patrol officer is no exception.

“The job is just a fantastic job,” Kelley said.

Kelley is originally from the Bettie community of Carteret County. He now lives in Leland with his wife, Bonnie, daughter, Kandice, and stepson, Jason Wheeler.
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