'He knew how to treat people': Friends and family remember Detective James Kirk

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POWELL CO., Ky (WKYT) - Friends and family remembered a Stanton police officer who died Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Photo of Det. Kirk from an interview with WKYT in 2016.

Friends who knew James Kirk described him as a good guy who cared about others.

"Let me say that James Kirk was an excellent police officer," said Powell County Sheriff's Deputy Eddie Barnes. "He knew how to treat people"

Barnes said everyone in the community respected Kirk; even those unlucky enough to be arrested by him.

"They would wake up the next morning and say 'yeah man, I messed up and I deserve it,'" Barnes said.

Kirk was at the Powell County Court House when he suffered a medical emergency. Deputy Barnes said he was just feet away from Kirk when it happened.

"I was actually in the county attorney's office talking to the county attorney about our prelim [hearing] that we were going to have yesterday", Barnes said. "I saw a flashing light and got up, looked around, and there was an ambulance out there."

Barnes said he had no idea it was Kirk at first.

Detective Kirk was taken to the Clark Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

"[Kirk was] very personable," Barnes said. "Whenever you walked up to him and he started talking to you it made you comfortable."

Tuesday night, Kirk's fellow officers brought him back home with a procession of emergency vehicles.

A visitation is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15. It will be at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Stanton. Kirk's funeral and burial will follow the visitation on Saturday.

Powell County local government offices in the courthouse and throughout the county will be closed Friday, Feb. 14 in honor of Kirk's memory.