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KBI Director Kirk Thompson announces retirement

TOPEKA – Kirk Thompson, Director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), the premier statewide criminal investigative agency, has announced his upcoming retirement, effective January 10, 2023.

Kirk Thompson has served as KBI Director for over 11 years. His distinguished law enforcement
service spanned more than 46 years.

Thompson first entered law enforcement in 1976, at the age of 19, as a deputy sheriff with the Barton County Sheriff’s Office. In this role he served the central Kansas community of Great Bend where he grew up. He then moved to Topeka in 1979, after joining the KBI as a special agent.

Thompson is a graduate of Washburn University, the FBI National Academy, the Kansas Certified Public Manager program, and has completed numerous other law enforcement leadership programs.

Over the course of his KBI career, Thompson served in several supervisory roles, working his way up the ranks to Assistant Director and Associate Director. Then in July of 2011, Attorney General Derek Schmidt appointed Thompson as the 12th Director of the KBI.

Thompson devoted more than a decade serving in the KBI’s top post. During his tenure he enhanced every division of the Bureau. In 2012, in partnership with the FBI, the first satellite Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in the nation was established at KBI headquarters to conduct timely analysis of digital forensic evidence. Then in 2015, the Bureau opened its Forensic Science Center, a new state-of-the art laboratory located on the campus of Washburn University.

Also during his time as Director, Thompson expanded the KBI child victims unit, to include the 2018 creation of the Northeast Child Victim Task Force, a team and facility focused on investigating major crimes perpetrated against children.

In 2017, Thompson successfully advocated for additional forensic scientists to test the statewide accumulation of sexual assault kits discovered during the KBI-led Kansas Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, and to expedite future submission and testing of this valuable forensic evidence. In 2019, under Thompson, the KBI established a cyber crime unit to investigate large-scale cyber threats in Kansas.

Thompson began discussions about retirement several months ago, and KBI employees were
formally notified of his retirement plans in early November. He agreed to serve through the end of
the year

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