Respected police captain passes

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Kenneth Hornak, 1957-2012

One of Saint Louis University’s and the city of St. Louis’s well-respected officers passed away on April 19. Capt. Kenneth Hornak, Assistant Director of Field Operations in the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, was 54 years old at the time of passing.

Described by his peers as an “outstanding supervisor who was loved by SLU students,” Hornak graduated from the St. Louis Police Academy in 1979 and began patrolling an area in the city that included SLU’s campus. He spent time as a member of St. Louis’ Ninth District detective and homicide units as well before being promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1998.

His ascent through the ranks of the St. Louis Police Department continued in 2001, when he was named the commander of the STLPD’s Canine Unit. The Canine Unit partners officers with German Shepherds to assist with searching for evidence, searching for missing persons, and tracking suspects. The Canine Unit requires significant dedication and training.

In 1998, Hornak was recognized as one of the ‘Toughest cops’ in St. Louis by St. Louis Magazine.

He retired from the STLPD in 2010.

In addition, he received honors from the STLPD for his service throughout his career. Hornak earned four Chief’s Letters of Commendation and two Meritorious Service Citations.

Upon retiring, St. Louis Alderman Stephen Gregali sponsored a resolution to recognize Hornak’s career and contributions to the St. Louis area.

“…we pause in our deliberations to extend a sincere thanks to Sergeant Kenneth Hornak for his long and productive service to the City of St. Louis and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department,” Gregali said in the resolution.

Roland Corvington, assistant vice president for DPSEP, spoke highly of Hornak and praised his abilities not only as a law enforcement official, but a person as well.

“Ken raised the level of the professionalism of our uniformed officers,” Corvington said.

“I have no doubt that our campus is safer and more secure thanks to his tireless efforts.”

Hornak is survived by his wife, four children and three grandchildren.