, Kansas Bureau of Investigation director
since 1994, announced Friday that he
will retire at the end of May as the second-longest serving chief of the agency.
"I still love the KBI
and still worry about them, but it's time to do something else.I might want to teach, but I just don't know yet," Welch
said, adding he
might write a book about the history of the KBI
, created in 1939 under the attorney general's office.
PrintReplyE-mail> LARRY WELCH
- Age: 70.Born Jan. 23, 1936, in St. John.
- Hometown: Lawrence
- Personal: He
wife, Shirley, have three grown children and eight grandchildren.
For his part, Morrison praised Welch
for a "distinguished career of service to the people of Kansas."
..."During his tenure with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Director Welch helped make Kansas a safer place to live through hard work and steadfast dedication," Morrison said in a written statement.
...Being KBI director is Welch's third law enforcement job.After graduating from The University of Kansas Law School in 1961, he joined the FBI, where he served for 25 years in Washington, Tennessee, Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, Missouri and Kansas.He then went to the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center near Yoder, where he became its director in 1989 before taking over as KBI director under then-Attorney General Bob Stephan.Welch
planned to stay a few months but ended up serving as director under Carla Stovall and Phill Kline.Welch
doesn't know who will be the new director, a decision to be made by Morrison.He
said since the first director, six have come from within the KBI
and three, including Welch
, from outside the agency.
For law enforcement officials throughout Kansas, Welch
has been the face of the KBI
with a reputation of always being willing to assist local agencies.
has been a very good friend to law enforcement, large and small.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius also praised Welch
, calling him "a great ally during the last four years in our efforts to keep Kansas families safe and secure."Welch
said the three biggest challenges for the KBI
tenure have been its budget, battling methamphetamine traffic and the increase in computer crimes, including identify theft and child pornography.The KBI
has some 300 employees, including about 80 agents throughout the state.It has four forensic labs, double the number in 1994.Welch said the agency has 53 forensic scientists in its labs in Topeka, Great Bend, Pittsburg and Kansas City , about a dozen more than when he became director.
The labs assist local police agencies in cases and their role has grown with advancement in technology, including DNA analysis and fingerprint analysis.He
said computer crimes is the fastest-growing area of criminal activity in the state and the KBI
often is asked to assist local agencies.
Six agents are assigned full time to cybercrimes.
"We can't keep up with the calls for assistance," Welch