First African American Officer, Veteran Of Force Honored By Chief
Police Officer Theron Kelly, a 19-year veteran of the Fort Lee Police Department, is the “Chief’s Award” recipient for July, police announced. A Newark native, Kelly has served in the patrol division for most of his career.
The following article was submitted to Patch for publication by the Fort Lee Police Department:
Police Officer Theron Kelly, a 19-year veteran of the Fort Lee Police Department, has been chosen as the Chief’s Award recipient for the month of July. Fort Lee Police Chief Thomas O. Ripoli presents this award to officers who have made positive contributions to the Department as well as the Borough of Fort Lee.
Kelly was born and raised in Newark, where he attended Science High School. He was a member of the United States Army and the Army Reserves from 1987 to 1992. He attended Rutgers University, where he studied political science. In September 1992, Kelly became the first African American officer hired by the Borough of Fort Lee.
Kelly has spent the majority of his career in the department’s patrol division, where he has worked on every squad. He has received various awards and commendations over the past 19 years. He attended numerous trainings, including High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and Gang Awareness.
As a single father, one of Kelly’s greatest accomplishments is raising his daughter, Nikita, who is now 20 years old. He would like to thank Chief Ripoli for honoring him with the award.