Keego Harbor Police Chief Kenneth Hurst speaks during a June 20 special City Council meeting. Hurst retired Jan. 4.

Keego Harbor Police Chief Kenneth Hurst speaks during a June 20 special City Council meeting. Hurst retired Jan. 4.

File photo by Sherri Kolade

Keego Harbor police chief retires

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published January 12, 2018

KEEGO HARBOR — At a recent City Council meeting, the Keego Harbor council said goodbye to Police Chief Kenneth Hurst, who retired Jan. 4. 

Hurst had been chief since 2009, coming to the department from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. He became chief of the department after helping assist the department, which had no police chief at the time. 

“At the date of my departure, I will have worked 17,166 days in law enforcement, spanning since Sept. 15, 1970,” said Hurst at a Dec. 21 City Council meeting. 

Hurst said he has prepared documents and information for the new police chief to make the transition between chiefs an easy one. 

“I strongly believe in the freedoms associated with the United States Constitution and have worked hard to ensure anyone in Keego Harbor — whether it be a citizen, business person or elected official — enjoys the protections the Constitution offers,” said Hurst.

Hurst’s retirement comes after a tumultuous decision the city made regarding the policing of Keego Harbor. Trying to cut costs, the city had been considering alternative policing options, such as sharing a police chief with Sylvan Lake or having the West Bloomfield Township Police Department police the city. The third option was to levy a public safety millage. 

In the end, city residents voted to pass the millage, which allowed the city to hire a new, full-time police chief after Hurst’s retirement. 

Hurst said it’s only fitting that he turned in his notice of two weeks to Mayor Joel Yoder, as Yoder was mayor when Hurst was sworn in eight years ago. 

“We’ve known each other for a number of years,” said Yoder. “We all want to thank you for your service to our city. I believe the Police Department has improved significantly under your command.” 

City Clerk Linda Voll said that the city received more than 30 applications for the police chief position. In the end, the city chose John Fitzgerald, a retired deputy chief of the Southfield Police Department. He was set to begin, pending contract approval, Jan. 16.