Kirksville police chief assumes fire chief position

Kirksville Police Chief Jim Hughes has assumed the role of Kirksville Fire Chief after serving as interim fire chief.

Hughes has been with the Kirksville Police Department for 15 years and stepped in as interim fire chief during March 2017 after the termination of the previous fire chief.

“I’ve been around emergency management for a long time, and there are a lot of similarities,” Hughes said. “My initial reason for doing it was to help. The Fire Department lost its chief, and they needed somebody to step in, in an interim capacity.”

Within the fire and police departments, the chief is tasked with managing and overseeing the department, while the deputy chiefs are responsible for running day-to-day operational activities. The chief helps develop a long-term vision for the department consistent with the community.

Hughes said he has two incredible deputy chiefs, Jon Cook and Steve Farnsworth, along with other staff who enable him to serve as chief of both departments.

“If the city didn’t have such good people in both departments, I couldn’t do it,” Hughes said.

Within the next few years, Hughes said he anticipates retiring from the departments. Before he leaves, he said his goal is to make sure the fire and police departments are in the best shape they could be in before the new chiefs are hired.