History of the Jackson Police Department

Jackson was founded in 1814 and is the first community to be named after former President Andrew Jackson. The town is the oldest town named Jackson in the United States. Since its early days Jackson has prided itself in being a friendly community retaining its small town atmosphere. Jackson Police became a police department by ordinance April 17, 1907.

Since the mid-1990s, Jackson has become one of the fastest growing communities in Missouri. The 1990 population census was 9,200. In 2000, it was nearly 12,000 and in 2006 over 13,000 citizens call Jackson home. Jackson has become the place to be. Residential, commercial and industrial growth has all come Jackson's way in recent years. A combination of all these elements, along with a strong local school system, has enabled Jackson to grow and thrive. Jackson successfully blends its beautiful natural surroundings with unique shopping, popular restaurants, business and professional buildings, and modern technology. Jackson offers quiet neighborhoods and splendid rural vistas

On March 15, 2008 in Atlanta Ga, Jackson Police Department was awarded full accreditation status from The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). Jackson Police was 1 of over 100 agencies represented and receiving accreditation through CALEA® that day. Jackson Police Department was the first municipal law enforcement agency in Southeast Missouri to be accredited.

Serving as the county seat of Cape Girardeau County, Jackson lies in Southeast Missouri just east of the the Mississippi River. The area combines the vast expansive farmlands with dense woodlands and rolling hills. The city has excellent access to transportation throughout the state and the rest of the country. Cape Girardeau is the largest neighboring community. Large markets in the vicinity are found in St. Louis and Memphis, Tennessee and nearby Interstate 55 leads north to St. Louis and south to Memphis, Tennessee. The City of Jackson operates with a Mayor/Board of Aldermen/Administrator type of government, with elected councilmen in four wards helping to govern the city.

In the beginning the Jackson Police Department's force consisted of one Town Marshal, an elected position. As the City of Jackson grew in size, a Night Watchman was added. As the years went on more officers were added. The Town Marshal was an elected position up until 1971. According to records the Town Marshal held this position for two years before another election was held. In 1971 the department's head changed from Town Marshal to Chief of Police. The position of Chief is now an appointed position. The following is a list of City Marshal's and Chief of Police to this date:

  • 1941 to 1948: Joe M. Knox, City Marshal
  • 1949 to 1954: Pinkney Wills, City Marshal
  • 1955 to 1971: Ben Schweer, City Marshal
  • 1971 to 1974: David Gellatly, Chief of Police
  • 1974 to 1990: Robert "Red" Clifton, Chief of Police
  • 1991 to 1993: Larry L. Koenig, Chief of Police
  • 1993 to 1994: Robert C. Hull Jr., Interim Chief of Police
  • 1994 to 2001: Marvin D. Sides, Chief of Police
  • 2002 to 2003: Robert C. Hull Jr., Interim Chief of Police
  • 2003 to Current: James M. Humphreys, Chief of Police

Jackson Police Department consist of 30 commissioned police officers (Chief of Police included), and one Administration Assistant to the Chief of Police.