Topeka Attorney General Derek Schmidt on Thursday announced the appointment of a longtime lawman, Kirk Thompson, as director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
Thompson, 54, of Topeka, will take over the agency from Bob Blecha, who is retiring July 1 after 44 years in law enforcement, including 31 years with the KBI and the last four years as director.
“Bob Blecha has served Kansas generously and well,” Schmidt said.
Since 2008, Thompson has served as a captain in the Topeka Police Department, where he is in charge of the Professional Standards Unit. Prior to that, he served for 30 years with the KBI, starting as a field agent and rising to associate director. Originally from Great Bend, Thompson started his career as a deputy sheriff in Barton County.
“Kirk is a man of integrity, and he has the right experience and dedication to lead this vital safety agency,” Schmidt said.
The KBI provides investigative and laboratory services to criminal justice agencies throughout the state. The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.
Thompson said his first order of business was to get back up to speed at the agency and help it navigate through tough budget times.