Waveland chief set to retire June 23
By Ellis C. Cuevas
May 8, 2013, 02:38
Waveland Police Chief Kenny Hurt said this week he will turning in his retirement to Mayor David Garcia and the board of aldermen at their next meeting. Hurt's last day is set for June 23.
Hurt, a longtime investigator at the Hancock County Sheriff's Office, took over the helm of the Waveland Police Department in January 2012. He had previously been named police chief in September 2011, but then served only two days before resigning when Waveland's administration had to shut down the department because of financial problems. That led to furloughing the department's officers. Later, Waveland officials brought back Officer David Allen as interim chief.
"I hate to see Chief Hurt retiring," Garcia said Monday. "Kenny has done an excellent job during some serious times for our city. My friendship with Kenny goes back to the days when we both were working at the sheriff's department.
"We are going to miss him, as well, because of his jokes, as he can turn a bad day into a good day. We certainly hate to see him retire, but he had a very difficult job to do for us at the police department. Now he deserves the time to be with his grand and great-grand children in addition to his hobby of vintage vehicles."
When Hurt returned as chief, Allen returned to his previous duties with the city as computer maintenance and IT officer.
At the time Garcia said, "David Allen stepped up and did a fine job during the last three months. He has a lot of other duties besides besides what the does at the police department."
"There was just so much work to do when I returned as police chief," Hurt said. "Thank goodness for the many officers who returned at reduced salaries, along with the volunteers. It was a 'round-the-clock job for us. We could not have made it without the volunteer help and dedication of the officers," Hurt said.
Hurt recalled that he and Allen worked 16 hour days for the first two weeks of his tenure.
"There is no question about it, but we have come a very long way within the past months. We went from six people total to 13 officers and a part-time clerk in the department, through the work of our mayor and aldermen.
"I realize we had a lot of folks volunteering their time with the department, and I would be remiss if I did not mention Nellie Piazza, as she worked full time for one year without any compensation.
"There was inventory after inventory to be done, there was the moving to our current location that came a little later. The paper work was tremendous.
"As a police department we had an image problem, and that was not just in our area, but state-wide. I was attending a state city police department convention in Olive Branch and one of the chiefs at this conference told me, 'You know when it was announced that you had taken the position as Waveland's police chief (I believed you) had to be out of your mind to take that position."
Hurt, who turns 66, at his next birthday, has been a resident of Waveland for 27 years. His wife is Kathy Hurt and they have five children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Hurt was first employed in a shipyard at the Port Bienville Industrial Park and worked his way up to be the foreman.
He joined the Hancock County Sheriff's Office as a reserve officer and later was named a patrol deputy. For five years, he worked full time as a sheriff's deputy and shipyard foreman.
He then moved up to the investigative department, where he served some 12 years as chief of investigators.
"Even though it was a great challenge for the past 16 months, I really want to thank Mayor David Garcia, Waveland's aldermen and everyone associated with the Waveland Police Department," Hurt said. "I do not want to forget the help we received from Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam and his staff, and the friendships we have made with the Bay St. Louis Police Department."