Redwood City, CA— The Redwood City Police Department, along with the Redwood City Police Activities League (PAL) formally honored outstanding local residents who have done exceptional work in assisting law enforcement officials in significant cases during the last year. Colleen (Cal) Kelley, who works as a volunteer in search and rescue, was honored with the Distinguished Citizen of the Year award.
The awards were presented in a formal ceremony on October 24th at the first annual Redwood City Police Department Awards Gala, which took place at Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City. In addition to the Distinguished Citizen of the Year award, the award ceremony honored individuals in the categories of Career Legacy, Prosecutor of the Year Award, Medal of Valor, Life Saving Medal, Police Officer of the Year, Professional of the Year, Outstanding Police Duty Award, and for Outstanding Community Service.
Cal Kelley has worked in search and rescue for 13 years. In partnership with her certified Cadaver Rescue Dog, Tica, she has done over 100 missions throughout the state, as well as in Nevada. In addition to serving with Search and Rescue, Kelley works as a Reserve Deputy with the San Mateo County’s Search and Rescue Department (SMCSAR). She also works with the California Rescue Dogs Association (CARDA), which is a statewide organization of volunteers who train, certify, and provide dog teams throughout the state.
“It was truly an honor to receive this award. Search and rescue is something I take very seriously. It’s a difficult job, but it touches one’s soul – perhaps that’s what keeps us going through long hours of searching in pouring rain, or climbing up yet another mountainside of brush. I hope to keep serving in search and rescue for many years to come. CARDA and SMCSAR have given me experiences beyond my wildest dreams,” remarks Kelley.
During Kelley’s career, she has worked on missions involving rescue of lost hikers and children; assisted in apartment fire rescues; train accidents; and on emergency disasters, including the San Bruno gas explosion. She recently worked on a destructive fire scene on Woodside Road.