Sebastopol names new chief of police
Sebastopol City Manager Larry McLaughlin today announced that Kevin Kilgore, most recently a lieutenant with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Police Department, has been selected as Sebastopol’s next Chief of Police. Chief Kilgore will be sworn in on March 1, 2021 and will take over from Interim Chief Don Mort. The appointment follows a search of just over a year, prolonged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after the retirement of Chief James Conner in December of 2019.
Kilgore has twenty-four years’ experience in municipal, county, and university law enforcement. He began his career as a Deputy Sheriff in Lebanon, Ohio, in 1997 and worked throughout southwestern Ohio for 9 years before relocating to Southern California to join the UCLA and UC Santa Barbara Police Departments. Over the next several years, Kilgore advanced through the ranks and was promoted to lieutenant with the UCLA Police Department in 2017.
Kilgore, an Ohio native, holds a Master of Public Administration in Organizational Leadership from National University in San Diego, CA and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management from Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, OH. He is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command in Evanston, IL, and the UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Program in Management in Los Angeles, CA.
He created a California POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training)-certified course in procedural justice and implicit bias and has taught the course throughout the state to community members and police department and city personnel. He also facilitated the UCLA Police Department's Police Chief’s Advisory Council and oversaw increased presence across various social media platforms.
During his tenure with the UCLA Police Department, Kilgore developed the UCLA Alcohol Diversion program for first-time UCLA student offenders of alcohol and minor drug laws. He also developed the UCLA Police Department Liaison Programs for several UCLA organizations including the LGBTQ Campus Resource Center.
Kilgore has served on a number of committees including the LA2028 Olympic Games Public Safety Planning Committee, the Anti-Defamation League Law Enforcement Advisory Committee, and the UCLA Administration Communications Council. He has also served as the president of the UC Santa Barbara Police Department Police Officers Association and vice president of the UCLA Police Department Police Officers Association.
While with the UC Santa Barbara Police Department, Kilgore received the Valor Award from then-California State Attorney General Kamala Harris for saving the life of a person drowning off the coast in 2013.
“We’re pleased to welcome Chief Kilgore to Sebastopol,” McLaughlin said. “Kevin’s background and experience really impressed us from the start, and he was originally one of our top candidates. We’re glad that he again became available after a prior candidate had to withdraw.” McLaughlin continued, “In a small community like ours it’s especially important that our police chief be skilled in building collaborative relationships with the public, department and city personnel, and Kevin has demonstrated leadership in these areas and beyond.”
Mayor Una Glass adds, “We are very pleased to welcome such a well-qualified candidate to lead our Police Department. Kevin Kilgore is experienced, skilled and very committed to community policing, respect for all communities and excellence in law enforcement best practices.”
Kilgore is an avid equestrian, bicyclist, and traveler and looks forward to exploring his new home and community. Says Kilgore, “I appreciate the confidence and support from City Manager McLaughlin, Assistant City Manager and City Clerk Gourley, Mayor Glass and City Council. I am honored and humbled to be your Chief of Police, and I am excited to work together with the members of the police department, the city personnel and leadership, and the community for many years to come.
Chief Kilgore will be introduced to the community at the March 2 City Council meeting, which will be held virtually and will begin at 6 pm. Instructions on how the public may participate in the meeting can be found on the meetings section of the City’s website.