London Police Chief Darrel Kilburn has announced his retirement effective Thursday.
He was appointed police chief in February 2019. Prior to the promotion he served as captain for six years, after joining the department in 2003. He began his career at the Corbin Police Department in 2002.
“I have loved my time at the London Police Department,” Kilburn said. “I am so appreciative that I had the opportunity to serve in a profession that has been so rewarding. I have met countless people that have given me inspiration and guidance, not only in policing, but in life. I have also had the privilege of serving with some of the finest men and women that God has ever made.”
Kilburn said he decided to retire because the demands of policing in today’s world have impacted the time available to spend with his family.
“As rewarding as policing is to me, it is also very stressful, especially in today's world,” he said. “I know I am blessed to have policed in a community that truly supports its officers, but the world is smaller today and it is hard to keep the problems of far-away communities out of London.
“Besides my faith in God, my family is the most important priority in my life. I want to devote more time to them and building great memories. I was absent from many holidays, family gatherings, and events that a police schedule interferes with, so now I will have the opportunity to be with family much more.”
Kilburn thanked London Mayor Troy Rudder for giving him to opportunity to serve as police chief.
“I would like to thank the mayor and all of the officers and city employees that I have served with from whom I have learned so much; and I would like to thank all the citizens of this great community for their support,” he said.
“Most of all, I would like to thank my wonderful wife, kids, family, and friends that have always been there supporting me and loving me, more often sacrificing much more than I ever had because they knew how much policing meant to me. Finally, I want thank God for all the guidance, comfort, and love he has given me. Prayer has gotten me through so many difficult situations, God may not have always answered my prayers in the way I prayed things to happen, but he always answered my prayers in a manner that was best for me.”
Mayor Rudder thanked Chief Kilburn for his service.
“He’s been a dedicated member of the police department since 2003 in several capacities,” the mayor said. “As chief, he has served with integrity and professionalism and took the department to the next level in training and community policing. The department is respected around the state. I wish him well in his retirement.”
When asked what advice he can give to the new police chief, Kilburn said he “would tell the new chief to always be true to himself/herself. Being chief is a lonely position sometimes because there are so many people that have different ideas on how things should be done. But if you truly lead with integrity, competence, and character, you will find that it is easy to look in the mirror no matter how much adversity you may encounter. I would also tell the new chief to enjoy their time as chief. It is a very difficult position, but it is also a very rewarding one.”
As for retirement, Kilburn said he plans to find “another job that will keep me busy and fulfilled, but one that will allow me to spend more time with my family without requiring me to think about the job when I'm not working.”