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City Names Maples Police Chief
C-T 11 15 17
Jon Maples, who was named Chillicothe police chief earlier this month, was sworn into the office Monday evening during the regular meeting of the Chillicothe City Council. Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney officially commissioned Maples to discharge the duties of police chief, and City Administrator Darin Chappell presented Maples with the police chief badge. Maple's wife, Katie, pinned the badge on her husband's uniform. Also on hand for the brief ceremony was their 2 1⁄ 2-year-old son, Logan. Maples, 29, is a 2006 Chillicothe High School graduate and has been serving as a Chillicothe police detective since 2014. He received his associate degree in criminal justice from North Central Missouri College and then graduated from the Missouri Western Law Enforcement Academy in 2008. Upon graduation, he was hired as a Livingston County Sheriff's deputy and then joined the Chillicothe Police Department as a patrolman in 2012. Maples was named chief following the retirement of Chief Rick Knouse.

CAPTION: Logan Maples, the 2 1⁄2-year-old son of newly-appointed Police Chief Jon Maples and wife, Katie, is dressed like his father at Monday night's Chillicothe City Council meeting. In the background, Katie pins the chief of police badge on her husband's uniform.

CAPTION: Newly-appointed Chillicothe Police Chief Jon Maples (left) accepts a congratulatory handshake from Mayor Chuck Haney Monday evening. At center is City Administrator Darin Chappell.

Related Article by Catherine Stortz Ripley
C-T 11 06 17
Jon C. Maples, a five-year veteran of the Chillicothe Police Department, was named department chief following a 4-0 vote during an executive meeting of the Chillicothe City Council Thursday afternoon. City Administrator Darin Chappell announced the pending appointment Friday morning. The official transition date is yet to be determined but should soon take effect, Chappell said. Maples, 29, is a 2006 Chillicothe High School graduate and has been serving as a Chillicothe police detective since 2014. He received his associate degree in criminal justice from North Central Missouri College and then graduated from the Missouri Western Law Enforcement Academy in 2008. Upon graduation, he was hired as a Livingston County Sheriff's deputy and then joined the Chillicothe Police Department as a patrolman in 2012. Maples was promoted to detective in 2014.

"Although there were several good and qualified applicants for the position, many from within our own department and from local agencies, the council strongly believes that Detective Maples' work ethic, leadership, passion for the community, and exemplary record as Chillicothe's lead on so many successful investigations will all come together to make his tenure as chief of police one for which the city and its citizens can be proud," Chappell stated. Looking ahead, Maples said he plans to talk with department officers, community members, City Council members and Administrator Chappell. "I want to get their opinions of what they are wanting and what will best suit the city of Chillicothe and the community," Maples told the Constitution- Tribune on Friday. He said a priority is to get the police department into the community. "We want to let people know who we are and let them know we are here to serve them."

One way to integrate the department more into the community is to start hosting a regular Coffee with a Cop event. "This will give the public a chance to meet me and my officers," Maples said. "I want us to have an office of transparency and nothing hidden from the public. We want them to see what we are doing." He said the officers will be vigilant in fighting drug-related crimes. "We're big on the war on drugs, and we are very successful at it," Maples said. "We want to keep that going."

The Chillicothe Police Department has 17 sworn officers (including the chief), seven dispatchers, an office manager and a secretary.

The city administrator stated that he is looking forward to working with Maples. "I know that we, with the guidance of the mayor and the council, can forge ahead, making our police department the very best it can possibly be." Rick Sampsel has been serving as interim chief since the retirement of Rick Knouse in September.

Chief Knouse Retiring After 40 Years in Law Enforcement
C-T 10 02 17

A reception was held Friday afternoon at the police station to honor retiring Chief Rick Knouse. City Administrator Darin Chappell read from two framed proclamations honoring the retiring chief. One was offered by Missouri Rep. Rusty Black, on behalf of the Missouri House of Representatives, and the other was issued by Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney, on behalf of the city. Both documents noted Knouse's service with the department, including his introduction of the SPIDER unit in 1990. The proclamation recognized Knouse "for his legacy of service in law enforcement to the city of Chillicothe," and the city's "appreciation for his commitment to the citizens of the city of Chillicothe and its police department."

Rick Knouse joined the Chillicothe Police Department as a reserve officer, working part-time, in 1977. The fact that his father, Richard "Dick" Knouse, was a 3rd Ward Councilman, the younger Knouse, then 23 years old, was ineligible to be added to the force full-time. However, after his father went off the council, Rick Knouse was hired as a full-time police officer in 1981. He has remained with the police department ever since and will be retiring his badge - No. 007 - on Friday. Knouse has served as department chief since September 2000.

Retiring Police Chief Rick Knouse (left) listens to Chillicothe City Administrator Darin Chappell read a proclamation
in honor of Knouse's 40 years with the city. C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Knouse began working under Chief Maynard Hall when the police department was located in the south side of City Hall. The department's evidence room was upstairs, the jail cells in the basement, and officer lockers in the lobby. In 1982, the police department was relocated along with the fire department to a new building at the southwest corner of Locust and Second streets. In 1998, the police department moved to 613 Walnut Street. Knouse had just ended a 4-1/2 year stint with the U.S. Navy and traveling the world when he returned to his hometown to become a reserve police officer. "Police work seemed like the right thing to do," he said. Knouse was spending about 30 hours per week with the department while also working for Botts and Tye Air Conditioning and Heating. When he joined the department full-time, Knouse recalls, Tom Botts asked what the department needed. Knouse suggested bullet proof vests. Soon after, the first bullet-proof vests were purchased by the Rotary Club for the department. Department staffing has remained about the same in the last 40 years, with 17 full-time officers; however, instead of carrying revolvers and night sticks, officers now carry semi-automatic pistols, Tasers, and pepper spray. They also wear personal radios (something that was not used when Knouse first began). The patrol cars - often Novas and big Fords and Chevrolets - were equipped with analog radios. Now, the radios are digital. Knouse recalled that when he first joined the department, he was issued a Colt revolver with a barrel that had been bent when used to help lift a manhole cover. Knouse opted to provide his own weapon.

Technology has changed significantly during the last four decades. Instead of waiting 15 minutes to get results of a license plate check through means of a teletype machine (without a viewing screen), it now is almost instantaneous. Although computers have simplified some processes it has also created avenues for new crimes, such as identity theft and child pornography. "When the computer world opened up, it created new crimes," Knouse said. "Crimes of all kinds." Some crimes have remained the same through the years, such as fights, domestic violence and driving while intoxicated. "A lot of it is still here, but the fight volume is way down," the chief said, adding that downtown brawls were prevalent years ago. "The downtown area was full of bars and there were bar fights all weekend," he said. New laws have come into play through the years, and among them is the domestic violence law. Prior to passage of the law, authorities would respond to "a family disturbance." "If the victim didn't want to prosecute, it was over and we left, unless there was an obvious injury," Knouse said. "Most of the time, it would have had to occur in our presence in order to make an arrest."

When he joined the department on a full-time basis, Knouse's duties included routine patrol and answering calls as they came in as well as investigating major crimes and burglaries. Knouse served on the Major Case Squad, participating in its activities, including the investigation of Ray and Faye Copeland. Knouse introduced the SPIDER unit in 1990. The Special Police Investigative Division and Emergency Response unit works similar to a SWAT team, responding to hostage situations, drug raids, etc., and also provides support to other jurisdictions upon request. Knouse has also been involved with the Drug Task Force, which encompasses eight counties. He attended the FBI Academy Training and has been a master firearms instructor since 2001. Knouse became sergeant in the mid-1980s, assistant chief in 1987, then captain and then chief in 2000. He has worked under former chiefs Jessie King, Tom Black, Rick Sampsel and John Wolford. Only one other department member has been at the police department longer than Knouse, and that is Assistant Chief Rick Sampsel. In April, Knouse began his ninth term as constable, a position which by city ordinance pays $1 per year. He said he plans to complete his current term.

Knouse said he was ready for retirement but not prompted by personal reasons or illness but rather the words from his cousin who served as police chief in Liberty and served with the Kansas City Police Department. "He told me, 'You'll know when it's time.' That's basically what happened," Knouse said. Including his military service, Knouse has worn a uniform of one kind or another since he was 18 years old. His philosophy has maintained the same throughout his time with the police department: Serve and protect the people.

Knouse was complimentary of those with whom he has worked. "Through the years, I've worked with 99 percent honorable and noble police officers and personnel," he said. Knouse said he will miss the job. "I'll have some adjusting to do," he said. Knouse and his wife, Laieloni, have eight children together and 12 grandchildren.

C-T 10 02 17 - Chillicothe Assistant Police Chief Rick Sampsel, who has been with the Chillicothe Police Department since 1976, has been named interim police chief and will serve in that capacity until the city appoints someone to fill the vacancy left by Chief Rick Knouse. Sampsel has served as assistant chief for the department since 2001 and will be involved in the selection process for the new chief according to City Administrator Darin Chappell. The deadline to submit applications for the chief position was Friday; and by early afternoon, approximately a dozen applications had been submitted. The applications were submitted by individuals from throughout Missouri. The hiring process will involve narrowing the application pool to three or four individuals and then inviting those finalists to interview with city officials. The administrator stated that the city would like to have a new chief hired by the end of October. Minimum qualifications for the police chief position include extensive experience as a police officer (some of which includes a supervisory/ ranking level). A bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration or related field is preferred. The successful candidate also most have strong leadership qualities, excellent media and community relation skills, and a dedication to professional standards. The salary range is $61,000 to $68,000 and includes benefits.

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