Colquitt Chief of Police to be honored at Police Week after dying of heart attack at 51

Kenneth Kirkland with the Colquitt, GA Police Department
Kenneth Kirkland with the Colquitt, GA Police Department(Gray Stations)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 4:45 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCTV) - The police department in Colquitt, Georgia is small with just 12 people.

However, the city manager said they’re a mighty group that are bonded like a family. But on August 25, 2021, the department lost its leader.

Chief Kenneth Kirkland died of a massive heart attack after clearing out the department’s storage shed.

WCTV’s Abby Walton has more on a man, many described as a “gentle giant.”

Kenneth Kirkland was in law enforcement for 30 years.

Originally from Bainbridge, City Manager Cory Thomas said he’d been chief of police for almost two years.

“He was well versed in law enforcement, but he believed in common sense approach to law enforcement, putting people first,” Thomas said.

His wife of almost 21-years, Teresa, also works in City Hall.

She said her husband’s heart and soul revolved around law enforcement, so to have his name recognized in D.C. and put on the memorial wall is pretty special.

“It may sound strange. I almost feel like I’m going to, I know not see him, but to, represent, to cherish his memory in a way that is hard, but it’s an honor,” Teresa said.

Teresa Kirkland said she almost didn’t go to D.C. because she’d never flown before but couldn’t bear the thought of not being there when her husband’s name was read.

Chief Kenneth Kirkland was 51-years old.

To watch tonight’s candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C., follow this link.

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