• Last modified 161 days ago (Dec. 13, 2023)


Burns hires retired cop as police chief

Four months after the last Burns police chief resigned — and eight days later was charged with sexual exploitation of a child — Burns has hired a new police chief.

Rick Kennedy, a retired police officer of 34 years who also served in the Army and worked part-time as a security guard, was hired Oct. 17 for the Burns police chief job.

City council member Rehea Huls said Kennedy is still learning the ropes of the town and being set up with everything he needs for the job.

Kennedy said after high school he spent eight years in the Army. Then he worked in the oilfield near El Dorado before joining the El Dorado department of public safety.

At that time the department of public safety was both a police and a fire department. It later split into separate departments and Kennedy was in the police department.

He retired from the El Dorado police department in 2008 at the rank of deputy chief.

He next spent two years as a supervisor with the Wichita State University police department.

In 2010, Kennedy became a federal police officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He retired from that job in 2018 as chief.

After that he worked in private security, including with the Sedgwick County courthouse police department at the juvenile courthouse.

Kennedy said he had been interested in the Burns police chief job the last time the city hired a police chief in early 2022, but had just taken a security job when the opening came up.

“I’d been interested in it a couple of years ago,” Kennedy said. “When they got to the hiring process I had just taken the courthouse job.”

The previous police chief, Joel Womochil, was chief from February 2022 until Aug. 8.

Last modified Dec. 13, 2023