A statement from Chief Brad Keller:
It is with deep personal regret that I inform you of the passing of Officer Kenneth Utsinger.  Kenneth was found deceased on April 21, 2019, at the police facility.

Kenneth was sworn in as a Montebello police officer on January 23, 2019. Kenneth is survived by his wife, his father, his mother, sister-in-law and two rescue dogs that he and his wife adored.

Kenneth was born in Anchorage, Alaska and raised in Lawton, Oklahoma. He was a correctional officer in Oklahoma for 11 years.  He and his wife moved to California in 2017 to be closer to his wife’s sister.  Although they did not have children they brought with them, from Oklahoma, two rescue dogs that I recall Kenneth saying at his swearing-in, “those are my kids, sir.”

At his command oral, Kenneth said his lifelong dream was to be a police officer and after working in corrections for 11 years he was looking forward to being on the streets; if, as he put it, he could make it through the academy; since he was a “little older” than most. He was 40 in the academy and turned 41 just a few weeks ago.

Kenneth was voted by his peers, at the Rio Hondo Police Academy, as the “most inspirational recruit.”  After his command oral I wrote one comment, “well done and humble.” It was not a surprise to me that he was an inspiration to his Rio Hondo class.

We can never prepare for losing someone so unexpectedly and we can certainly never understand why someone with so much potential and passion for public service would leave us too soon.  We can ask why, only to never really ever get a true answer, since the person who holds that answer is no longer with us.

Please keep the Utsinger family, Kenneth’s wife Heather, his sister-in-law Amanda, and our and his Montebello family in your thoughts and prayers.

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