More than 25 years of dedication to public service has led to regional recognition for Capt. Dan Othic, a longtime officer with the University of Central Missouri’s Department of Public Safety. He was recently honored as recipient of the Clarence M. Kelley Meritorious Service Award.

The award presentation was made at the Lake of the Ozarks during the fall 2023 meeting of the Kansas/Western Missouri Chapter of the FBI, National Academy Associates. The award has been presented annually since 2001, honoring a chapter member from Kansas during the spring Re-Trainer program and a Missouri member during the chapter’s fall Re-Trainer. Award winners are individuals who show “dedication to an exemplary career in law enforcement."

A UCM alumnus, Othic graduated from UCM with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 1996 and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration in 2006. He began his professional career in law enforcement in 1997 as a member of the Clinton, Missouri Police Department, then joined UCM’s Department of Public Safety in July 1998. He is currently serving as Assistant Director for Public Safety for Police Operations.

In speaking about the award, Othic said, “I am proud to be a member of the world’s strongest law enforcement leadership association. I am truly honored to be included on the list of great law enforcement leaders in our region who have received this award."

The award is named for a Missourian who left a legacy in law enforcement, not only in this state and region, but across the nation.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1911, Clarence Kelley was an alumnus of both the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri. He served in the United States Navy from 1944-1946, and was granted military leave from the FBI.

Kelley was initially signed to the Kansas City office, where his performance led to his promotion as Field Supervisor. His career took him to FBI posts as a Special Agent in Houston, Texas; Seattle, Washington; and San Francisco, California, then to the Training and Inspection Division of FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he became an Inspector.

He was later re-assigned to the Birmingham, Alabama office as Special Agent in Charge, and reassigned to the Memphis, Tennessee office with the same professional title in 1960. Kelley served there until his retirement from the FBI in 1961, when he became Chief of Police in Kansas City. In 1973, he was nominated for the FBI Director’s post by President Richard M. Nixon, and sworn into office, where he served until announcing his retirement in 1977.

Kelley was once honored by UCM’s Student Government Association, which presented him with the James C. Kirkpatrick Excellence in Governance Award, an award that is given annually to individuals who distinguished themselves in public service.

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