Detective retiring from county force
By Ken Kosky
Friday, April 11, 2008
VALPARAISO | Joey Larr's biggest accomplishment during
his 30-year career with the Porter County Sheriff's
Department likely was when he and an investigative task
force helped put David Malinski in prison for the 1999
murder of Valparaiso nurse Lorraine Kirkley, even though
her body wasn't found until years later.
But the 52-year-old Larr, whose last day as a detective
sergeant is today, said one case doesn't define his
career. Larr, who spent a portion of his career as an
arson investigator and crisis negotiator, said many of
those cases were significant.
Although retiring from the Sheriff's Department, Larr
plans to continue serving as a Valparaiso city
councilman, a post he's held since 1999.
He also plans
to start a second career and is considering options both
in and outside of law enforcement.
And, with Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas announcing he will
seek to become Indiana attorney general, Larr said he
would be interested in becoming mayor if the opportunity
Larr, whose father, Don, was a Valparaiso firefighter
and city councilman, said that may have influenced his
Larr, who spent time as both an investigator and a
patrol officer, said being an investigator offered him
the opportunity to do his best work. But he spent most
of the past five years as a road officer, where he said
he developed a renewed respect for the caliber of
officer the county employs. The newer officers, most of
whom have college degrees or military experience, are
highly trained and employ advanced technology and
When Larr started 30 years ago, his squad car had a
single red bubble light on top of it and he carried a
revolver. Now, officers have sleek light bars on their
cars, semiautomatic handguns, laptop computers and more.