Kirk J. Ortiz, was born and raised in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. It was here that Kirk quickly learned that in order to achieve his goals in life he would have to learn to fight for himself. Whether it was fighting off the pressures to join the neighborhood gangs or fight off the distractions of an inner city kid in the classroom, he would have to keep his fight focused.
Kirk attended CPS schools and graduated from Richards Career Academy High school in 2003. After graduation he pursued his educational goals at Daley College. He also found his public service purpose by serving on the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) as the Vice President. His advocacy for better student life caught the attention of the City Colleges administrators as well as the student body and he was eventually named the President of the Student Government Association (SGA), finding his calling in public service.
He then took an oath to serve and protect and became a sworn peace officer for the State of Illinois. For over a decade Kirk has been serving the public, protecting lives at all cost including risking his own. In an effort to employ out of work former colleagues, Kirk started a full service security firm that as of today employs thousands of employees. Kirk sees this as an extension of his commitment to public service, entrepreneurship, and creating more employment opportunities.
In January of 2021, Kirk took his commitment to public service to the next level. He announced his candidacy for Cook County Sheriff, driven by a pursuit to see a better Sheriff's Office just as he had fought for a better student experience at the City Colleges years earlier.
Kirk has made it clear, "I am NOT a politician. I am a hard worker, a family man, a union man, a business man, a friend, a servant of God; I am an overall regular person fighting to survive and defend others as a public servant who simply wants to make a difference in my workplace and community. This is why I want to serve as the next Cook County Sheriff."
Kirk and his family now reside on the northwest side of Chicago.