Left to Right:  Rowdy Douglas, Dave Kidwell, Dustin Hartman, Chief Carloss "Joe" Kirkman, Brad Evans, and Sergeant Tim Ceplina
Houston Police Department
Cpl Dave Kidwell
Dustin Hartman
Brad Evans
Chief Jim McNiell
Sergeant Tim Ceplina
MoCAP 4.1 Law Enforcement

Section I -Program Process

The Houston Police Department was established in 1971 by city ordinance number 398. Prior to that time, an elected city marshal met the community’s law enforcement needs. Because the department has been in existence for thirty-two years, the process for assessment simply involved the chief of police evaluating the community's existing law enforcement program against the program standards in this sub-category.

Section II -Program Standards

A. Organization: The chief of police is the administrator of the police department. He is appointed by the mayor with the consent and approval of the majority of the board of aldermen. He reports directly to the city administrator, who receives input and direction from the board of aldermen and mayor. The department's activities are governed by federal, state, and local laws in conjunction with the rules and regulations set forth in the city's personnel manual and the department's general orders and policy manual.

B. Mission Statement: The mission of the Houston Police Department is to maintain order while protecting our citizens by enforcing the laws of the State of Missouri and the ordinances of the City of Houston.

C. Personnel: The department is staffed by six full time officers serving a population of nearly 2,000, which exceeds the national average of 2 officers per 1,000 population.

D. Training: All officers of the department are certified by the Office of Peace Officer Standards and Training, Missouri Department of Public Safety, and have met or exceeded continuing education requirements mandated by the State of Missouri. Officers also qualify semi-annually with firearms.

E. Communications and Records: The City of Houston, which is the county seat, contracts with the Texas County Sheriffs Department for 24-hour radio dispatching services. The Wri-Tex 911 Emergency Dispatch Center is also located within the city and has direct radio contact with the police department, sheriffs department and highway patrol.

The contract also includes use of the Missouri Uniform Law Enforcement System and the department participates in the record-keeping program mandated by the Missouri Criminal Records Repository, to include the submission of monthly Uniform Crime Reports to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The police department maintains a permanent file of complaint and arrest records and coordinates with the clerk of the municipal court. The department maintains personnel records for officers, including detailed training records, performance evaluations, commendations and disciplinary actions.

The department complies with the requirements of the Missouri Attorney General's Office to submit annual reports detailing traffic stop data for purposes of disclosing any trends of racial profiling within Missouri law enforcement agencies.

F. Equipment and Facilities: The department has uniformed officers on duty 24 hours a day. Officers are equipped with portable radios, side arms, pepper spray, batons, handcuffs and flashlights. Officers patrol in marked police cars equipped with two-way radios, emergency lights, sirens, and carry a full compliment of emergency equipment, to include body armor, helmets, AR-15 rifles, shotguns, first aid kits, blankets and road flares. The department's fleet consists of four late model automobiles, all equipped with the police package installed by the manufacturer. Any new equipment or vehicle needs are included in the annual budget.

The police station is located within the city hall and has a lobby, offices, evidence room, locker room and an interview room. The department utilizes three computers for record keeping, report writing and photo processing.

The city contracts with Texas County for jail services at their 24-bed facility in Houston. The jail staff provides 24-hour supervision and access to medical care.

Program Goals and Planning
The department's goal is to develop with this growing community at a rate that will permit continuity in the level of service to which our citizens have grown accustomed. We intend to maintain an environment in which our residents can enjoy peace and a sense of security. Officers will continue to be provided updated training and equipment as new trends and techniques

The department will continue to work closely with city government and other area agencies to address citizen concerns. The department continues to maintain and analyze statistics involving calls for service and crime rates in order that effective responses may be planned.