KPD History


Brief KPD History

Kingsport, the second oldest town in Sullivan County, was known as the largest and most important city in the county. In 1822 the town of Christianville and the town of Rossville combined to form the incorporated town of Kingsport. Almost 100 years elapsed before Kingsport officially became a City in March 1917. Up until that time all law enforcement was performed by constables and the sheriff of the county.

Upon being notified that the City had been chartered, the new governing body appointed George Barger as Chief of Police and three officers, W.P. FLora, A.R. Hagy, and Sam Barger, to serve the City of Kingsport. Also still assigned to the city were Sullivan County Deputies W.W. Leedy and S.P. Devault.

The City of Kingsport has had thirteen Police Chiefs since it's charter, the current being Chief Gale Osborne. Currently Chief Osborne heads the department of 118 sworn officers, 44 full-time non-sworn and 15 part time non-sworn personnel, for a total of 179 employees. In addition the department has a very dedicated Volunteer Services Program.

These officers patrol a city that is 49.84 square miles in size, and encompasses land in both Sullivan and Hawkins ounties. The City has a population of 48,162 and has 466.35 miles of roadway including 24.69 miles of interstate highways.

Chief Osborne is assisted by two Deputy Chiefs, D. Quillen, D. Phipps.

The Police Department operates the city 911 Communications Center and has a staff of 12 certified dispatchers. The KPD is unique in that it is one of the few remaining municipal police deparments in the state that operates a city jail.

After moving into the new Justice Center in 1989, the department achieved two additional goals. They were the first law enforcement department in the area to begin an officer vehicle take home program, and were also the first to obtain national accreditation, as well as only the third in the State of Tennessee to achieve this goal.

Five KPD police officers have lost their lives in the line of duty. Click here to read more about Our Fallen Officers.






200 Shelby Street
Kingsport, TN 37660



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