Larry Hunsaker, Elwood Chief of Police, retires Friday, Aug. 23, after a long career serving the public.
In between serving as a reserve officer in his hometown of Eudora, Kansas, and his 15-year stint as Elwood police chief, Hunsaker has served in emergency medical services as well as other law enforcement capacities.
At 62 years old, he retires as Doniphan County’s longest-serving law enforcement officer.
From behind his desk in the Elwood police station Friday morning, Hunsaker said it’s been an interesting career.
“It’s been an exciting ride because I’ve had enough to keep me busy and keep interested,” he said.
Hunaker started his career in 1977 as a volunteer reserve police officer in Eudora. Form there, he went to work in Leavenworth, Kansas, as an Emergency Medical Services employee, and from there to Tonganoxie, Kansas, to serve as a police officer.
He also served as a member of the Drug Task force unit in the Doniphan County Sheriff’s Department. For about three months, Hunsaker also served as personal bodyguard for comedian Jerry Lewis in Las Vegas.
Hunsaker was employed as a police officer in Elwood from 1999 to 2001, then in 2004 he became Elwood police chief.
“Elwood’s kind of a unique part of Doniphan County,” Hunsaker said. “We’re kind of the bumper zone for everything that comes into the county.”
He has worked in conjunction with Buchanan County Drug Strike Force and the St. Joseph Police Department on a number of issues.
Hunsaker said Elwood’s problems are like St. Joseph’s problems but on a smaller scale.
“Over here we deal with a lot of domestics. We have our share of burglaries. We see a lot of narcotics coming in and out between St. Joe and here,’ he said.
Hunsaker said when he first started as chief he worked on the homicide of an infant and was able to get a conviction He worked a 15-year-old cold case of another infant homicide and was able to locate the perpetrator in a Texas jail. He had the man brought back, where he pleaded guilty to the infant’s death.
“We also did a lot of search warrants when meth started coming into our area,” Hunsaker said.
For the most part it’s been the usual stuff he’s had to deal with in his career in Elwood.
And they do the job with two full-time and three part-time officers covering 20 hours a day, seven days a week.
Hunsaker said when he retires he still plans to work in law enforcement but in a smaller capacity, such as working with youth and doing active shooter classes.
He plans to work part time for a local trucking firm in an accounting position and full time as a grandfather.