The Knoxville Police Department responds to all police calls for service within the approximately 105 square miles that make up the City of Knoxville. 

The KPD’s current authorized strength is 416 sworn law enforcement officers. 

The department is divided into four separate Bureaus — Field Operations, Investigations, Management Services and Professional Standards. 

The organizational chart can be found below.

History of the KPD

The History of the Knoxville Police Department begins in January 1802 with the appointment of Jacob Reed as Town Sergeant. The title changed to High Constable in 1816 and later Marshall in 1840. Marshal D.J. Stacks was the last town marshal. Marshal Stacks urged the forming of a police force. He was the only member of the new police force until Fuller Ryan was appointed his first assistant in 1854.

In January 1857, the first regular Chief of Police was named and the first brass buttoned officer patrolled the streets of Knoxville. They wore a “Prince Albert” gray coat with standing collar.

In 1860 another change was made with the election of the first Chief Of Police/Tax collector/Market Master, Chief Marshal Pesterfield.

The Knoxville Police Department began serving the public on foot, as well as, on horse back. There tales that officers used bicycles to chase cars when motor cars first made the public scene.

Legacy Award recipients

The Legacy Award was established in 2018 to recognize former employees, both sworn and civilian, who exemplified exceptional and meritorious service to the Department and the City of Knoxville. Recipients displayed unparalleled honor, integrity and courage throughout their career, demonstrated selfless service to the KPD and the community and, most importantly, left a lasting legacy that inspired future generations. 

Nominations may be submitted by any member of the Knoxville Police Department, while family members may also submit nominations. 

Read about every KPD Legacy Award recipient here.