City of Kelso Appoints Darr Kirk as Next Police Chief

City of Kelso Appoints Darr Kirk as Next Police Chief

The City of Kelso is pleased to announce the selection of Darr Kirk as its next Police Chief effective June 1st. The appointment fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Andrew Hamilton in April of this year.
Chief Kirk is a 26-year veteran of the Kelso Police Department (KPD) and began his law enforcement career in Kelso in 1993. Kirk has served in nearly every functional law enforcement role in the department including patrol officer, detective for the Cowlitz/Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force, Kelso High School Resource Officer and patrol sergeant. For the past ten years, he has held the position of KPD Captain, and served as a SWAT Commander and unarmed force instructor. He was named Interim Police Chief in April upon the departure of Chief Hamilton.

“It is my distinct pleasure to appoint Darr Kirk as Kelso’s next police chief,” said City Manager Steve Taylor. “Chief Kirk’s breadth of experience within law enforcement and exemplary service within the department has thoroughly prepared him to succeed in this new role. Darr will carry on the department’s legacy of quality service and community involvement, and maintain the culture of professionalism within the ranks of our public safety officers.”

Chief Kirk has an extensive record of community involvement through his leadership on numerous committees and as a youth sports coach for twelve years. He was appointed to a vacant director position on the Kelso School Board in January 2019. Kirk is a 1987 Camas High School Graduate and attended Clark Community College in Vancouver for one year. He subsequently attended Washington State University and graduated in 1992 with a degree in Criminal Justice.

Chief Kirk has been married to Melissa for over 20 years and they have two children, Kahler (17) and Riley (15). He is an outdoors enthusiast and enjoys spending time with his family.

Chief Kirk considers it an honor to serve the Kelso Police Department professionals and the Kelso Community.