Minneapolis police Sgt. Ann Kjos, a veteran homicide detective who had a hand in solving a number of high-profile cases in recent years, is retiring after 32 years on the force.
Kjos joined the department in 1988 and was assigned to the homicide unit in 2007.
She took part in numerous widely publicized investigations, including one into the 2015 slaying of North Side activist Susan Spiller, which captured the city’s attention five years ago with its brutality and seeming randomness. She stood behind Police Chief Medaria Arradondo at a news conference last year when he announced that a suspect had been arrested.
In another case, she and another detective, Sgt. James Jensen, tracked down witnesses and reviewed surveillance video to catch the killer of 19-year-old Elija Larkin, who was shot to death moments after stepping off a Metro Transit bus in October 2015.
Before she began solving murders, Kjos worked as a street supervisor and also in narcotics, at the tail end of the crack era. Her longtime police partner was Sgt. Luis Porras.
Kjos, the wife of Assistant Chief Mike Kjos, leaves the job with a wealth of institutional knowledge that will be tough to replace, said police spokesman John Elder.
“She touched the vast majority of those high-profile cases that have passed through that unit,” he said. “Her ability to communicate with both suspects and victims’ families and loved ones truly is part of what made her remarkable.”
But, he added, she also was never one to back down: “Anybody who took her for being soft and a pushover because she was a female quickly found out how wrong they were.”