LONGVIEW — Kelso Police Chief Andy Hamilton announced his retirement Tuesday, effective immediately, less than a week after City Manager Steve Taylor announced his retirement in June.Captain Darr Kirk was appointed as the interim police chief, as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.Hamilton told The Daily News on Tuesday that he has been eligible for retirement for three years, and has been thinking about it for almost as long, but Taylor’s announcement Thursday that he was resigning to work for Cowlitz PUD prompted Hamilton to also consider leaving.In a press release Tuesday, Hamilton said, “Based on current events over the last couple weeks, I’ve discussed with my wife future plans and realize that now would be a great time for me to retire.”Hamilton, 55, said “there’s nothing negative” about the decision, which he said was reached amicably within the city.“Everything is great between me and the city, and the department and the city manager,” he said in an interview.Hamilton started with KPD in 1987 after two years as a reserve police officer. Over the next 32 years, Hamilton worked as a patrol officer, detective, sergeant, captain, member of the Joseph Kondro homicide task force and the Narcotics Task Force, and as the leader of a number of community policing projects, according to a press release.For his work with the Safe Kids Coalition, Hamilton received the Governor’s Award from Gov. Gary Locke and traveled to Washington D.C. to visit the White House. He returned to the White House years later for his work with the 21st Century Policing Model.
Southeast Alaska’s largest tribal organization has authorized its courts to perform same-sex marriages.The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced its new policy Monday.It defines legal marriage to be with another person, regardless of gender.President Richard Peterson, in a press release, said the council is, quote, “exercising our self-determination and sovereign authority and making sure that we provide for equal treatment of our tribal citizens.”Old rules allowed tribal courts to conduct marriages, though it wasn’t a regular practice. The council’s new policy is expected to encourage its courts to perform same-and opposite-sex marriages.Its directive also includes divorces.The council said its action adds to a growing list of tribes amending or adopting rules to recognize gender equality.Freedom to Marry, based in New York City, lists nine tribal governments in the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest and Oklahoma that OK’d same-sex marriages during the past half-dozen years.President Evan Wolfson said he’s sure there are more.“Members of the tribes know what it’s like to experience discrimination,” Wolfson said. “They know what it’s like to be shoved outside, to be looked down on.”“And I think what tribal authorities are saying is that, out of that history, we know it’s important that we not commit the same kinds of discrimination, that we not isolate people, is that we not harm them.”The central council claims a membership of nearly 30,000 Tlingit and Haida Indians in and outside Alaska.