The Beaumont Police Department Training Room was filled with officers, media reps and well-wishers as 25-year veteran Beaumont police officer Kenneth Karr accepted a promotion to sergeant during a ceremony held in his honor Feb. 23.A montage of photos from Karr’s days on the force welcomed in guests, and the man of the hour regaled the group with stories of his years with the department and his lofty ambitions for this new post.
Karr said he got his start in law enforcement at the Beaumont Police Department in 1986 and hopes to continue his career in the station he has spent the last two-plus decades. During that time, he explained, he has had experience in all manners of policing practices.“I think I’ve finally done about all there is to do in patrol,” he said, jokingly adding, “and it only took me 25 years to do it.”
According to BPD Officer Randy Stevens, Karr has been a great asset to the department over the years. Stevens said Karr most recently assisted city and county officials in clearing the blight from Beaumont neighborhoods by razing dilapidated structures, reducing the number of “safe houses” where illegal activity would run rampant. Karr also spent several years serving as a K-9 unit, taking drugs off the city’s streets and patrolling through every shift the department had to offer.
Karr’s work with razing structures will now stop, he said, an unfortunate side effect of shifting duties from a beat cop to ranked officer. However, his work on the streets of Beaumont is far from through. Karr said he anticipated working an array of shifts in his new post but will undoubtedly be back on patrol again, just in a supervisory role now. The veteran officer said he wouldn’t want it any other way.
Karr’s 25 years of service won’t keep him from being the rookie sergeant, Stevens said, so now the seasoned officer will enter a new phase in his career starting from the beginning. Stevens added that all the ranked officers in BPD started as patrol officers and moved up the stations through time and hard work, Chief Frank Coffin included.
“We don’t bring in officers from other departments in lateral transfers,” Stevens said. “We only promote from within the department.”Stevens gave many reasons for the protocol, saying BPD officers are familiar with other department heads and ranked personnel, knowledge that makes a crucial difference when investigating cases. Stevens added that Karr’s experience and know-how will continue to make him an asset, and his work ethic and commitment to his community will make this promotion not only beneficial to the the department, but also the entire city of Beaumont.