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DeFoor retiring after 65 years in law enforcement, but not entirely

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    Capt. Ken DeFoor
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Capt. Ken DeFoor and wife Jo having some fun at DayGaCom.

LIBERTY - Capt. Ken DeFoor has had a long and distinguished career in law enforcement spanning nearly 65 years, and now he is finally hanging up his badge and gun, but not entirely.

“I guess you could say it is ‘semi-retirement’ because I will remain with the sheriff’s office as a volunteer Reserve to assist with the Honor Guard and as a coordinator between the Sheriff’s Office and Texas EquuSearch on any search operations that the sheriff’s office might need,” said DeFoor.

DeFoor, who has served the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office as Public Information Officer in recent years, will be stepping away officially on Jan. 31, 2023.

Sheriff Bobby Rader has high praise for DeFoor and the work he has dedicated his life to, especially the support he gave him after taking over as sheriff.

“I want to thank Captain Ken DeFoor for his service to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and, mostly, for helping me adjust to the sheriff’s position.,’ said Rader.

DeFoor began his career with the Houston Police Department after graduating from the Houston Police Academy in 1958. He spent most of his career in Houston, serving as Crime Scene Investigator, Homicide Detective, and later Division Commander and Pilot with HPD’s Helicopter Division. 

“One cannot imagine the changes he has seen in the 65 years that he has served as a law enforcement officer. The knowledge that he has is because he has ‘been there and done that.’  His advice is always respectfully taken,” said Rader.

Upon retirement from HPD, he accepted the position of Chief of the Dayton Police Department, where he continued to serve and protect his community, which he feels genuinely supports law enforcement.

“There is a ‘truism’ that a lot of peace officers live by and that would certainly describe me. If I was cut, I would bleed BLUE. Being a peace officer has been my life and I have so enjoyed serving the people of Liberty County as, overall, our county supports law enforcement and have assisted our agency in so many ways. It’s gratifying when a citizen says, ‘Thank you for your service,’ said DeFoor.

DeFoor has also been very active in the community with the Dayton Rotary Club and Dayton Historical Society, where he serves as chairman over the efforts to establish a Police and Fire Museum in the old Dayton Police Department building.

“I will remain very active in community projects. And will even have some spare time for my wife Jo and I to play with our antique cars,” said DeFoor.

As for who will be taking over DeFoor’s post at the LCSO, that will be decided in the coming days, but Rader is confident it will be a tall order for whoever is selected.

“His smile and his eagerness to help others will be missed. The captain’s expertise and professionalism as a public information officer will be something that the person that fills his boots will have an uphill battle trying to reach. I, along with all the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office employees, want to thank Captain Ken DeFoor for his years of service and wish him good luck with his future plans,” said Rader.

DeFoor is looking forward to semi-retired life but plans to keep busy and do what he can to help in service of the community and law enforcement. His biggest hope is that he was of assistance to the public and positively influenced younger officers coming into law enforcement.

“All peace officers take an oath of office when they are sworn in, and God has blessed me with being able to serve in the greatest profession known to man, and I have tried to live by that code of honor by helping the public where I could,” concluded DeFoor.