Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday announced the appointment of Jackson County assistant prosecuting attorney Kenneth R. Garrett III as an associate circuit judge of the 16th Judicial Circuit in Jackson County.

Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday announced the appointment of Jackson County assistant prosecuting attorney Kenneth R. Garrett III as an associate circuit judge of the 16th Judicial Circuit in Jackson County.

The position became open when Judge Robert Beaird retired.

Garrett has been with the prosecutors office since 2004, prosecuting criminal cases and working with community groups to improve safety and enhance the relationship between the office and the community. Garrett was selected to work closely with the Kansas City Police Department Gang Unit and lectures on criminal justice at the Kansas City Police Department Police Academy. Garrett also is a former assistant attorney general.

“Throughout his career, Kenny Garrett has demonstrated his commitment to public service and his dedication to justice,” Nixon said in a statement. “His roots in Kansas City run very deep, and I am pleased to appoint him to the Jackson County bench.”

A Kansas City native, Garrett earned his law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science and his master’s degree in public administration from UMKC.

Garrett also has served as an instructor in strategic business planning and policy at Baker University’s Overland Park branch.