Los Alamos County Municipal Judge Alan S. Kirk stopped by the Los Alamos Daily Post Monday to discuss his decision to seek a 6th term on the bench.
“The reason I’m seeking re-election is I feel there is still more that I can do. I’ve served this community for 40 years and I think I’ve learned to understand what’s important here and I’m proud of the programs and services that we’ve initiated that continue the quality of life that we all enjoy in Los Alamos,” Kirk said. “Los Alamos is a unique community and as municipal judge I’ve been able to get out from behind the bench and get involved in the community … there’s not another Municipal Court in the state that provides the kinds of programs that we do here.”
Kirk is a founder of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board (JJAB) and has served as board chair for more than 16 years. The program has evolved and over the years contributed some $3 million in programs and activities to the Los Alamos Public Schools. It also has been recognized as a model for the state.
“The reason JJAB is so important to me is that our local kids were being taken out of town for probation services. By creating JJAB we are able to provide local services for our youth and provide timely resolution and intervention and prevention for our kids … to keep them here and out of the criminal court system,” Kirk said. “I’ve lived in Los Alamos for 60 years and worked for the County or as an elected official for 40 years and I’m not done yet. We’ve experienced a lot of changes in the court in the last couple of years … I believe we need someone experienced to work through and implement these changes. I’m at a point in my career where I have established relationships and a voice to really make a difference.”
Kirk said he has always felt that in holding a position in the community such as judge, it is important to stay involved. He has a long history of commitment to providing support for local youth and has been deeply involved in the development of youth advocacy programs and projects. He coached boys and girls basketball for 18 years at Los Alamos High School. He developed the local Teen Courts community service program to enhance the courts’ probation program.
“These programs have grown over the years and provide services to Municipal Court, Magistrate Court, District Court and the Juvenile Probation Office,” Kirk said.
Kirk also spent eight years working with other community members in the development of the current Los Alamos Teen Center, which he describes as one of the best teen centers in the state. He participated in the development of Leadership Los Alamos, served on the committee that founded Family Strengths Network and developed the School of Choice at the high school.
At the state level, Kirk has received two Supreme Court appointments, one to the State Judicial Information Oversight Board and the other to the Chief Judges Council, which has representation from all levels of court in the state. In 2016, he received a governor’s appointment to the Juvenile Justice Advisory Council for the Child, Youth and Families Department (CYFD). He is a past chairman of Leadership Los Alamos (2002) and graduate of Leadership New Mexico. He also chaired the Municipal Court Judges Association, representing 84 municipal judges throughout New Mexico.
Kirk moved to Los Alamos in 1958 and graduated from Los Alamos High School and Eastern New Mexico University. He holds a bachelor’s degree with a double major in psychology and accounting. Kirk served as police chief in Los Alamos for 10 years prior to his election to the bench. He has been married for 44 years to Pat Kirk, an instructional aide at Pinon Elementary School in White Rock. The couple has two children, Alex and Erin, who each graduated from Los Alamos High School and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Alex is a pro basketball player now playing on a team in Japan and Erin is a State Farm agent in Albuquerque.
The Municipal Court of Los Alamos is one of 84 Municipal Courts in New Mexico. It is a court of limited jurisdiction, which hears cases involving municipal ordinance violations such as petty misdemeanors, DWIs/DUIs and traffic violations. The court is in the Justice Center at 2500 Trinity Dr., Ste., C in downtown Los Alamos.
Kirk’s opponent in this general election is Democrat Elizabeth Allen.