Kirksville is a third class city. Police Authority for third class cities is established in State Statute RsMO 85.5612: "In all third class cities the members of the police department shall be conservators of the peace, and shall be active and vigilant in the preservation of good order within the city. Every member of the police department shall have the power at all times to make or order an arrest with proper process for any offense against the laws of the city or the state. Every member of the police department shall have the power to make or order an arrest in areas leased or owned by the municipality outside of the boundaries of such municipality".
There are several city-owned properties outside the boundaries of the City. They include water treatment facilities, Forest Lake, Hazel Creek Lake, and the Kirksville Regional Airport. Additionally, as authorized by Section 70.820 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, a properly trained police officer has arrest powers at any place within the state when they observe someone causing or creating substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another.
The police department uses a lengthy process to select and test potential officers. All officers are required to be licensed by the Peace Officers Standard and Training Commission of the State of Missouri; licensing is usually a pre-requisite to employment. Once a position is opened, advertisements are made appropriately and candidates are initially processed through the Missouri Career Center. Applications are screened and invitations to test are sent to a selected number of candidates. Stages of the employment process have included a designed-for-police written exam, physical fitness/agility exam, comprehensive background investigation, and oral interview board. Conditional job offers are made pending a successful truth detection examination, physical, and psychological examination.
In addition to routine police patrol duties, the department performs a variety of other services for the community.
The Kirksville Police Department, in conjunction with the Kirksville Fire Department, is a designated Regional Homeland Security Response Team. To fulfill this role, city emergency responders receive additional training and equipment. As a result, they are prepared to respond to Homeland Security incidents anywhere in the United States. The departments have been furnished, through federal grants, with special equipment to assist with carrying out this mission.
Special Response Team (S.R.T)
In the event of extremely high risk incidents the department deploys its specially trained response team, known as S.R.T. (commonly referred to as a SWAT team). The team is considered vital in times of heightened homeland security awareness and can undertake a variety of missions when called upon. Team members include a hostage negotiator and two sharp shooters and it has two specific vehicles and a myriad of special equipment at its disposal.
The Investigations Division is staffed with 3 full-time Detectives; two of which are responsible for helping solve more serious crimes in the community. They have specialized training in forensic investigations, evidence collection and processing, covert activities, interrogations including Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA), arson investigations as well as a host of other skills. The third Detective is assigned to the Kirksville Regional Computer Crimes Unit.
Kirksville Regional Computer Crimes Unit
There is currently one full time Detective and four part time Officers assigned to the Kirksville Regional Computer Crimes Unit (KRCCU). The KRCCU is an affiliate agency with the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and relies largely on Federal and State grant funding to maintain operations. The KRCCU will handle any criminal case involving illegal activity that has taken place involving a computer or related media devices. These cases often include, but are not limited to fraud, financial crimes, drug investigations, and the possession and distribution of child pornography. The KRCCU covers 13 counties in Northeast Missouri and will offer its assistance, free of charge, to Law Enforcement Agencies. They also provide education to Law Enforcement, Schools and community service organizations.
Animal Control & Parking Enforcement
The Animal Control & Parking Enforcement Division is responsible for enforcement of animal control ordinances and parking enforcement ordinances. They are also responsible for investigation of complaints of animal abuse, catching stray or loose animals and picking up injured or deceased animals and transporting them to the Adair County Humane Society.
The Lake Patrol consists of one full-time seasonal employee staffed by a patrol officer who enforces city regulations and ordinances on Forest Lake. This patrol also assists recreational boaters and swimmers whenever the need arises.
Auxiliary Patrol has a limited amount of positions that are not full-time and are used to supplement the patrol schedule to reduce overtime and assist with larger events such as the NEMO Fair. Auxiliary officers are difficult to find as they are required to have the same license and training as a full-time officer.
The Police Department hosts an annual Citizen's Academy, educating the public in processes and procedures in Law Enforcement. The participants learn hands on experiences during the course of several weeks.