CCU investigator wins national officer of the year award

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – A narcotics investigator at Coastal Carolina University has won the National Association of Campus Safety Administrators' Officer of the Year award.

Investigator Charles Kessler has been with CCU's Department of Public Safety since October 2014. He says he's honored to win the award.

"It feels pretty good," Kessler said. "It's definitely awkward with all the recognition, but it's good to get it."

Officers from all across the nation were nominated for the award. Kessler was nominated by his supervisor, Lt. Matthew Crawford.

Crawford said seeing him win the award is very special because they share a close bond.

"It's like being proud of your son growing up and going out in the world, and accomplishing what he wants to set out to accomplish," Crawford said.

Kessler served in the military for eight years. He says that's part of the reason he enjoys working in narcotics.

"The passion comes from so many soldiers dying from narcotics," Kessler said. "That's my biggest drive. I've lost too many friends from this stuff, and it's got to go."

Crawford says Kessler has worked tirelessly to get drugs off CCU's campus.

"He just went at it," Crawford said of Kessler. "He started developing different informants and working with different agencies, not just state police. We're talking FBI, CIA and all those other ones. He did a great job with that."

Kessler says it means the world to him that his supervisor would nominate him for the award. He cherishes the bond they have.

"He's definitely been there for me through all my craziness at work and I'm grateful," Kessler said.

Kessler will travel to Orlando, Fla., in July to attend the NACSA conference, where he'll officially accept his award.

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