Retired Lower Mainland police media officer Shinder Kirk remembered

Celebration of life held after Kirk was killed in head-on crash in Nanaimo just before Christmas

Police officers and family members mourned the loss of Shinder Kirk on Saturday after a car crash in Nanaimo killed the widely respected police officer and spokesperson.

Kirk was remembered by APD Chief Mike Serr as “larger-than-life” with a “very engaging personality” and who “made everyone feel special.”

“It was really a privilege to have gotten to know Shinder over the years,” said Serr, who knew Kirk from both the APD and the VPD, following the celebration of life service.

RELATED: Retired Abbotsford police sergeant dies in head-on crash

RELATED: Driver killed after two pickup trucks collide in Nanaimo

“I got to know Shinder when we worked the integrated gang task force, and Shinder was just that person during the time of when we were in one of the most critical gang conflicts, was the face of that conflict, and just so engaging. When I came back to Abbotsford about three years ago, I got to meet Shinder again.”

Kirk was known to many from his media appearances – he worked as a media liaison for the APD, the RCMP’s integrated gang task force and eventually the combined forces special enforcement unit. He was well-respected by his colleagues, media and the public.

“If you didn’t have a chance to know Shinder – I know many people only got to know him through seeing him on TV, and the person you saw on TV was a person who was a real man. He was a truly caring person and he will be deeply missed,” Serr said.

But Kirk’s niece, Christy, who asked her surname not be published, told those in attendance that the affable media presence and professional colleague did, indeed, let loose around those he loved most.

“I know many of you saw the professional, well-spoken, well-dressed, put-together Shinder. That was the Shinder my family never met,” she said to laughter. “When I saw my uncle, he was always in sweatpants and faded T-shirt, flannel and sometimes crocs.”

But no matter which Shinder Kirk you met, those who presented at the celebration of life told the same story: One of a man who cared deeply for and could effortlessly get along with those around him.

“My uncle was kind, caring, compassionate and humble. He was always willing to help out with a smile on his face. I know I can speak for my family when I say we already miss him,” Christy said.

He was remembered fondly, too, by freelance videographer Kevin MacDonald, who spoke at the celebration of life on Kirk’s positive relationship with the media.

“Shinder had a heart of gold and was always willing to help anybody who asked. That was evident a few years back,” Macdonald said, pointing to a time when his vehicle was not working and Kirk called him with an offer.

“[He said] if I hear anything good, I’m to call him and he will pick me up and take me to the scenes, no matter the time. And for several months, that’s what we did. … I’m not sure any other newshound can tell a story like that.”

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Snowfall warning: 5-10 cm expected in Lower Mainland

The snowfall will start Tuesday and carry on into the evening, before tapering off Wednesday

Manager of Mission MP’s constituency office hoping to run in Abbotsford

Seamus Heffernan – and Paljeet Singh – seeking party’s nomination to run against Conservative Ed Fast

Mission’s ONTS presents nostalgic comedy Hilda’s Yard

Funny tale takes a look at family dynamics in the 1950s

Mission RCMP have noticed a recent trend in car thefts

Leaving your car unlocked while warming it up makes life easy for thieves

WATCH: Kwantlen artist unveils ‘highlight’ of his career at Ruskin Dam

Brandon Gabriel designed six panels that adorn the dam in Mission

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

Super snow moon set to rise across B.C.

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

5 to start your day

IHIT investing South Surrey homicide, B.C.’s budget set to focus on climate change, poverty and more

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

Bad weather halts search for missing B.C. snowshoer until at least Wednesday

The rescuers were able to rescue the missing man’s friend

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Most Read