The Riley County Police Department (RCPD) was formed in 1974 upon the passage of enabling legislation by the State of Kansas. The Riley County Sheriff’s Office, the Manhattan Police Department, and the Ogden Police Department were abolished and replaced by RCPD. As part of the move to consolidate law enforcement in Riley County, the founding statutes contained provisions that provided for oversight of RCPD by the Riley County Law Enforcement Agency – what is commonly referred to as the “Law Board”.
The Law Board is comprised of seven individuals who represent various constituencies in Riley County. According to KSA 19-4427 the Board “shall have seven members who shall be selected in the following manner:” One Riley County Commissioner selected by the Board of County Commissioners; one resident of the County selected by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC); one Manhattan City Commissioner selected by the Manhattan City Commission; two residents of the City of Manhattan selected by the Manhattan City Commission; the Riley County Attorney; and one Commissioner of the City of Manhattan or BOCC appointed by the respective governing body on a two year rotation. In recent years the governing bodies of the County and the City of Manhattan have chosen to appoint members of their own Commissions to the “resident” positions rather than appointments of residents “at large”.
The Law Board is responsible for the enforcement of law and the providing of police protection and is authorized (in part) to: Appoint and establish the salary and compensation of the Director; Authorize and provide for the appointment of all other personnel; Hear and affirm or revoke the suspension or dismissal of law enforcement officers; Establish salaries for personnel; Authorize the acquisition of equipment and supplies necessary to operate the department; Adopt an annual budget and certify same to the Riley County Board of County Commissioners; Enter into contracts; Adopt rules and regulations necessary for the operation of the Department; and perform other duties as provided by law.
The Law Board normally meets at noon in the Manhattan’s City Commission meeting room at 11th and Poyntz on the third Monday of each month, except when that Monday is a legal holiday. In those instances the meeting is generally held on the following day at noon. Special meetings are also occasionally scheduled and advertised well in advance to address non-routine issues such as formulation of the budget. All members of the public are invited to attend and an opportunity for public comment is scheduled during each meeting. Accommodations are available for individuals with disabilities. For those unable to attend in person, all meetings at City Hall are also broadcast on local cable access television.