Several community leaders announced their retirements last week. During the Dec. 17 City of Hinesville Council meeting, Hinesville Police Chief Bill Kirkendall announced it would be his last meeting as Chief of Police. The same day at the County Commission meeting Liberty Emergency Management Agency Director Larry Logan’s retirement was announced. On Dec. 18, Donald Lovette was given a retirement celebration streamed on Facebook Live announcing his retirement from Liberty Regional Medical Center.
Kirkendall was with HPD for 34 years and serving as Chief for the past two years. But Kirkendall said he isn’t ready to hang up his badge just yet.
“Although I am retiring from HPD, I have accepted a position with another law enforcement agency so I will continue to serve this community.”
Kirkendall will be joining the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office as newly elected Sheriff Will Bowman takes charge of the department.
Kirkendall began his law enforcement career in 1984 when he was hired by Chief J. Robert Ryon as a dispatcher. Prior to this time, HPD was dispatched by the county and he was one of the first dispatchers hired when operations moved from the old jail into a converted dollar store building on East M.L. King Jr. Drive, near the site of the current police building.
Kirkendall worked as a dispatcher for two years and then enlisted into the Air Force as a law enforcement specialist. He returned from the Air Force in 1990 and was hired as a police officer by Chief Harlan DeLoach.
“I have been fortunate over the years to serve in various positions within the police department which kept me busy,” he said. “I worked assignments as a patrol officer, patrol supervisor, narcotics investigator, D.A.R.E. instructor, internal affairs investigator, property and evidence custodian, state certification manager, traffic accident investigation commander, patrol commander, and assistant chief of police. These various assignments prepared me to serve as the Chief of Police when the opportunity came.”
But he said his greatest accomplishment is the friendships forged with fellow officers.
“Over the years I have been fortunate to work with some really great professionals and they paved the way for my career,” Kirkendall said. “I try to leave every position better than I found it and hopefully some of the changes I made have added to the quality of life for the men and women of the Hinesville Police Department. I am proud of the change to 12-hour shifts which made it possible for officers to have every other weekend off to spend with family. The change also provided for better coverage of the city with more personnel on the road at any given time.”
Lovette has been at Liberty Regional Medical Center more than 45 years. He started his career as a clinical laboratory assistant and retires as the director of laboratory services.
He said he is proud of the work he did in helping LRMC achieve Joint Commission Accreditation and their Laboratory test menu and growth in test volume from 150,000-300,000 test per year.
Lovette will still stay busy as the Chairman of the Liberty County Board of Commissioners, but he said he is looking forward to a little more down time.
“Enjoy some “me” time and return to my writing and history research,” he said. “Spend quality time with my mother, visit family and travel when it’s safe.”
He added he vows to work hard to continue the progress in Liberty County with a special emphasis on economic development to include the development of the interchanges at Midway and Riceboro.
Logan began his career in 2010 and has aided the County in preparing and responding to hurricanes, natural and manmade emergencies. He worked as a deputy director under Mike Hodges and later was appointed as the Director of Liberty EMA.
“Larry has been a very dedicated director who has always gone above and beyond to make sure that the citizens of the County received the very best emergency management services available,” County Administrator Joey Brown said. “It has been great to have him as team leader.”
“I want to thank Mr. Hodges,” Logan said. “He did my first interview 10 years ago and there were several other applicants. So, I want to thank him for giving me the opportunity. When I first got the job, it was a part-time job and I want to thank him for letting work part-time and eventually a work into a full-time position.”
Logan also thanked Brown and the County Commission for their continued support.
“This has been one of the most rewarding experiences, most rewarding career, even after my military service…serving the people of Liberty County.”
During the Dec. 17 County Commission meeting Brown said they went through an extensive search process and promoted current EMA Specialist Robert Dodd, to fill Logan’s place on Jan. 1.