|Wed, Oct 22, 2014 05:38 AM
|Issue of October 15, 2014
August 20, 2014 | 09:17 AM
Jim Kendall said being a police officer is all he's wanted to do as a professional career.
Now, after 28-1/2 years in law enforcement, Kendall is retiring as chief of the Corydon Police Dept. His final day on duty was Friday, but, with accrued time, his last official day will be Aug. 31.
Corydon Police Chief Jim Kendall receives a gift from the Corydon Town Council Friday afternoon during a surprise retirement party. Photo by Ross Schulz
The formal vote by the Corydon Town Council to accept Kendall's resignation was unanimous at its Aug. 11 meeting.
"I had a desire to be a law enforcement officer and wanted to make a career out of it, and I think 28-1/2 years is plenty," Kendall said, noting that his longevity at CPD came in large part because he felt a certain amount of loyalty to the town council for hiring him and trusting in him. "I never really had a desire to go anywhere else."
Kendall worked for the Harrison County Sheriff's Dept. in 1983 and 1984 before joining the CPD on March 10, 1986. He rose to rank of captain under former chief Richard Yetter and served in that position for 15 years before being named chief on Oct. 16, 2001.
Kendall said he was ready for the advancement.
"I believed that I could improve the department, and I just believed some of the ideas I wanted to incorporate would be beneficial to the department in getting newer and better equipment and get more updated training," Kendall said. "That involved getting tied into a program that basically means the federal government pays for half of bullet-resistant vests."
Kendall said one of his most memorable experiences was taking part in the memorial on the Corydon town square for the late Gov. Frank O'Bannon.
"I think a lot had to do with the county and town and conservation and state police and how they all came together. The honor guard involved county and Corydon Police Dept. and the state," Kendall said. "That was something that centered the town of Corydon and its history.
"Also, I got to help a lot of senior citizens and a lot of young kids in town. I'd been here about six months and was called to a senior citizen's residence on Elliot Street. She was probably in her late 70s or early 80s and she thought someone was messing around in her backyard. I walked through her house and checked out back and didn't find anything. She says, 'Thank God for people like you.' I knew I was in for the duration after that. It's little moments like that, that just keep you going."
Also at the Aug. 11 meeting, the town council approved the advancement of Capt. Matt Kitterman to chief. Kitterman has been with the department for 14 years, and Kendall recommended Kitterman be moved into his former role.
"I think a lot of ways Matt is a lot like me. He grew up in this area, knows this area, a lot of people know him, he's well respected by fellow officers and he's very involved in his community, like helping out at the (Boys & Girls Club), community, he holds classes down there for boxing and wrestling and programs like that. I think he deserves this opportunity," Kendall said.