While he said he enjoyed his time working with the Homer Police Department, Kuhns is enthusiastic about new opportunities, including working with the U.S. Department of Defense on security issues both around the state and nationally.
"I'm looking forward to a new life," Kuhns said. "It's time for something new. Change is good."
Kuhns won't be leaving the community, however. He and his family plan to stay in Homer, he said Wednesday.
Kuhns was hired by the city in October of 1998 after leaving the Alaska State Troopers. As a trooper, Kuhns spent eight years working primarily in the Homer area, although he also worked with the Criminal Investigations Bureau in Anchorage as well as in Soldotna.
Since joining the Homer Police force, Kuhns has risen through the ranks from an entry level police officer to his promotion to sergeant this spring. He specialized in computer forensic training, child sexual abuse investigations, undercover drug operations and led the commercial truck inspection
"He's going to leave a pretty large hole over there at the department," said Homer City Manager Ron Drathman on Wednesday. "He's one of those guys you can just always count on. We are certainly going to miss him."
Kuhns said he has nothing but good things to say about the Homer Police Department, which he says is one of the most progressive in Alaska. His decision to leave now hinged on the recent hire of four new police officers. While the job was demanding, he said he found it rewarding, and is proudest of his rapport with the community.
"I fish with guys on the river that I've arrested, and they understand that while I'm a police officer, I've got a job to do. I think I've always tried to treat people fairly," he said.
"Overall, the people here in Homer are very good people. It's just a great place to live," he said.
He said some cases, like a 1997 incident where a woman died after a suspicious "fall" off the bluff outside of town, haunt him, however.
"Hopefully, one day there will be resolution," he said.