PHL Caring Support: Airport Police Officer William Karley

Airport Police Officer William “Billy” Karley recently received the “Caring Support” award in PHL’s Airport Employee Recognition Program. This award recognizes employees who provide exceptional care and services to passengers.   

WilliamKarley began working for the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) in 1986, serving the 25th District for most of that time before joining the airport eight years ago. Karley maintains the safety and protection of Terminal F, working both day and nighttime shifts.    

When Karley first came to PHL, he did not know what to expect.  However, he’s glad he came and feels as though the airport has expanded his knowledge.   

“At the airport you learn different things from people from diverse nationalities and religions,” said Karley. “You’re able to see a different viewpoint.”  

In his nomination of Karley, fellow Airport Police Officer James Crown said, “In our headquarters, Billy is known as the ‘Mayor of Terminal F’.”   

Seeing planes fly never gets old to Karley who enjoys watching families take-off to their next destination. 

“I’m amazed at how airplanes get in the air,” he said. “It’s still fascinating to me. I really like that.”   

At times, Karley finds himself starstruck from the number of celebrities that fly through PHL. He recalls a fond memory of former President Jimmy Carter waving back at him. Although he did not see Pope Francis on his papal visit to Philadelphia, Karley would like to visit him one day.   

Karley is happy with the comradery he shares with his fellow police officers at PHL.  

“My coworkers and I are always ready to assist one another,” he said. “I like that they are there when you need back up. We take care of each other.”   

While on the job, Karley enjoys being an advocate for community relations at PHL and throughout Philadelphia.   

He believes in treating everyone with respect and showing them that he’s ready to help at any time.  

“I hope my impact is that I leave a good impression with people I’ve dealt with, especially kids,” said Karley. “Sometimes they want pictures with you. You leave a good impression with them so they know that we’re here to help.”  

Karley is certified in CPR/AED and can respond during emergency events. His father was a firefighter for 30 years and instilled in him strong values of service.  

Philadelphia is home to Karley, who is a longtime fan of every Philadelphia sports team, especially the Philadelphia Flyers.   

“A recognition like this from my coworkers on the job that I do is greatly appreciated,” said Karley. “When I’m at the podium, people come up to me and say, ‘thank you for your service’ and ‘we appreciate you.’ That’s nice because it shows me people really do care.”  

The PHL Employee Recognition Program was established by the airport’s Guest Experience (GX) Department. Honorees are nominated by their peers and selected by the GX Council Steering Committee’s Employee Conduct and Recognition Committee. For more information about the program and to nominate an employee, click here.   


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Christine Ottow
Director of Strategic Communications
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Heather Redfern
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