HAIL TO THE CHIEF
On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, Columbia Basin College named Police Chief Ken Hohenberg of Kennewick as its 2012/2013 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. Ken was recognized for contributions in three areas: an avid, caring and committed family man, a skilled and dedicated professional, and a respected and tireless community leader.
Ken, a lifelong resident of the Tri-Cities, first attended Columbia Basin College from 1974 to 1976 and received an AAS degree in law enforcement. He later returned to CBC in the 1980/81 time frame to “sharpen his skills” by taking additional criminal justice classes. In addition to his time as a student, Ken has remained active within the campus community. From 1995 to 1999, he served on CBC’s advisory board on criminal justice. The board provides advice to the college administration on current law enforcement trends, workforce development needs, and curriculum relevance.
In 2007, his role switched again and he became a parent advocate for his two daughters, Melissa and Michelle, both of whom graduated from CBC in 2009 with Associate of Arts and Science degrees. Last year, Ken, ever involved, volunteered to spearhead a campaign to raise funds for an endowed student scholarship to honor the first criminal justice instructor at CBC.
After graduation from College, he put his newly acquired law enforcement knowledge to work by joining the Kennewick Police Department as a patrolman. In 1985, he was assigned to traffic patrol and his stellar performance as a “ticket” writer earned him his sergeant stripes five years later. From there, he rose through the department’s management ranks and became the chief in 2003. Almost 10 years later, he is still going strong leading his department and bringing innovations and national interfaces to the Tri-Cities.
Ken also serves the community by volunteering on countless boards and commissions. On any given day you can find him leading fundraising campaigns, spearheading local assistance projects, coordinating efforts to help the needy, and focusing his energy on youth development. Some of the organizations he has helped include United Way, the Boys and Girls Club, Reading Foundation, and the Tri-City Cancer Center to name just a few. His community honors include being named 2009 Tri-Citian of the Year and United Ways Volunteer of the Year. We are indeed pleased to have Ken Hohenberg join our family of distinguished alumni.
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