Chillicothe Police Chief Rick Knouse, who began his law enforcement career with the Chillicothe Police Department as a reserve officer in 1977 and continued with the department for the next 40 years, has retired.

Chillicothe Police Chief Rick Knouse, who began his law enforcement career with the Chillicothe Police Department as a reserve officer in 1977 and continued with the department for the next 40 years, has retired. A reception was held in his honor Friday afternoon at the police station. 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 which has been instrumental in responding to hostage situations, drug raids and also provides support to other jurisdictions as well as his involvement with the Drug Task Force and his attendance at the National FBI Academy. “Chief Knouse has initiated such proactive measures to address the modern day challenges of law enforcement, and throughout his career has continually striven to be proactive in all areas of effective policing,” the city’s proclamation stated. The proclamation went on to recognize 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.” Knouse was hired as a full-time patrol officer in 1981, promoted to sergeant in 1986, promoted to assistant chief in 1987 and promoted to the position of chief in 2000. “This job never bored me,” Knouse told those gathered at the reception. “There was something new every day.” He mentioned the department’s tactical team that “is a legend in itself,” and recalled the positive outcome in the role it played in rescuing a young girl in a hostage situation in Marceline. Knouse stated that he is proud of the Chillicothe Police Department. “I am glad that I have the department and the people that I have because I challenge anyone to have one better,” he said. “We have a department that is very proactive, community-oriented and we are fighting crime every day.” He said the department is working hard to fight drug-related crimes and said that he hopes that always happens. In his outgoing remarks, the chief noted the people with whom he worked. “People talk about friends and family,” Knouse said. “This has been a family to me... the city of Chillicothe and everybody here.” “I’m going to miss everybody,” he added. “I will miss you all.”