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Police Department

It is the mission of the Canton Police Department to provide peace, serenity, and protection to all the people throughout our community. We believe that law enforcement has its foundation in values and we dedicate ourselves to:

  • Constantly obtain knowledge and training to better provide sound judgement and moral obligations to this community;
  • Have the integrity and dedication to promote the feeling of trust and goodwill among citizens and each other;
  • Supply the community with peace and security through a team approach to problem solving policing;
  • Treat all people with respect, compassion and dignity.

The Police Department is located in the City Hall Building at 2 N. Main St.

If you have an emergency, please dial 911. For general non-emergency questions call (309) 647-5131. Fax: (309) 647-8226.

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Our Department

The Police Department consists of 20 sworn police officers, 10 civilian employees. The Department is broken down as follows:

Sworn Officers:

  • 3 Lieutenants
  • 4 Sergeants
  • 9 Patrolment
  • 2 Detectives
  • 1 School Resource Officer

Civilian Employees:

  • 7 Telecommunicators / 911 Dispatchers
  • 1 Code Enforcement / Animal Control Officer
  • 1 Operations Coordinator
  • 1 Public Information Officer

Further functions of the department are broken down into the following divisions:

Administration: The administrative division is comprised of the Public Safety Director, the Operations Coordinator and the Public Information Officer. The Director oversees both the Police and Fire Departments. The Operations Coordinator handles all training, vehicle maintenance, payroll and supply requisition. The Public Information Officer handles all media inquiries, FOIA requests, and other reporting duties.

Patrol: The patrol division is the backbone of our department. This division is broken down into the three primary or standard shifts. These officers are the first to respond to all complaints and calls for service. They handle domestics, traffic accidents, burglaries in progress, and many other calls for service. The proactive efforts of the men and women of the Canton Police Department make our city a safe place to live and work.  

Special Operations: The special operations division handles several tasks that includes one sergeant, two detectives and a school resource officer. The primary function of this division is the investigation of crimes, illegal narcotics trafficking, sex crimes, and juvenile crimes. The school resource officer (SRO) is a liaison between the department and Canton Union School District 66.

Communications: The communications division consists of telecommunicators who operate the 9-1-1 (Public Safety Answering Point) located at the police department. They process calls to 9-1-1, police, fire and medical radio traffic, and answer several administrative telephone lines. Telecommunicators also handle walk-in complaints and report and records maintenance. They routinely dispatch the city police, fire/rescue units, and the Fulton County Emergency Medical Association (ambulance). They also have the capability to dispatch all of the fire/rescue and police units within Fulton County. Each telecommunicator is certified in Emergency Medical Dispatching, CPR, and LEADS (Law Enforcement Agencies Data System). Telecommunicators are generally the first person a citizen will have contact with when requesting assistance.

Crime Stoppers

The Canton Police Department Special Operations Division maintains “Unsolved Crimes” to provide information to law enforcement agencies and the public which can lead to the identification and arrest of any person(s) who may have committed any crime. BEFORE TAKING ANY ACTION, please contact the Canton Police Department Special Operations Division at (309) 647-5131.

If you have information concerning any crimes, and wish to remain anonymous, you may contact our local Crime Stoppers at (309) 647-3636 or (309) 547-3939.

Police Reports Request (FOIA)

The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 ILCS 140/1, is an act in relation to access of public records and documents. Other State or Federal laws and acts, such as the Privacy Act or Juvenile Court Act, which take precedence over the FOIA, may prevent your access to all or part of the information you have requested.  Please note that certain information may not be released as a result of those precedents.

These records include, but are not limited to, information regarding juvenile offenders, pending investigations, information that would identify informants, information that would impede investigations and any information that would violate the right of privacy of another.  For further information on records that are not subject to release, please see 5 ILCS 140, Sections 2.15, 7, and 7.5. 

All requests for incident, case, arrest and traffic accident reports will be governed by the FOIA and you will be receiving a redacted version of the requested records.  However, if you would like an unredacted copy of a report, please submit a subpoena or an order signed by a judge along with your request.  

Per Sec. 11-416 of 625 ILCS 5/11, the Canton Police Department may furnish copies of traffic accident reports for a fee of $5 for each copy or, in the case of an accident reconstruction report, the fee of $20 for each copy will be charged. 

The FOIA requires a reply to you within five (5) business days excluding weekends and holidays.  An additional 5 days may be required if the request requires extensive search or does not specify the records by date and location.  You will be notified in writing as to whether your request was approved or denied.  If denied, the reason for denial will be included in your letter.  If approved, your letter will indicate when and where your copy will be made available and the fee for copies which is payable upon receipt of documents.  The first fifty pages for black and white copies are free.  There is a .10 cent fee for each additional copied page of information thereafter.

To assist the records department pertaining to your request and to help us determine your right to access, please complete the information requested by printing out the document below. The document may be hand delivered to the department, mailed, or faxed to 309-647-8226.

Nuisance Complaints

The City of Canton and the Canton Police Department are committed to providing a clean and safe community for all to enjoy. If you would like to register a complaint:

In Memoriam – David W. O’Brien

David W. O’Brien, age 40 years, gave the supreme sacrifice on August 3, 1924, when he was killed by John Nicodemus, age 34 years, who had served two different sentences in prison prior to killing O’Brien. Nicodemus had fired at police before in other areas. He was an army deserter and was wanted for bank robbery in Ford County before he killed O’Brien. He was a suspect in several car thefts in Fulton County. He also was being sought for a railroad robbery. To disguise his appearance, he changed his hair color from light to dark.

Police Chief William Roy and his Assistant David W. O’Brien were on a tour of inspection in the southeast part of Canton when they came upon Nicodemus. After questioning, the officers decided to take Nicodemus to the police station for further questioning. A gun battle ensued during which Nicodemus, armed with two .30 caliber ten-shot lugers shot both Chief Roy and O’Brien. As he was dying, O’Brien managed to shoot and kill Nicodemus. Nicodemus had fired nine shots and O’Brien three. After being wounded, Chief Roy unarmed staggered to 455 South Fourth Avenue for help. The gun battle took place at the intersection of Oak Street and Fourth Avenue. 

On August 5, 1924 the City Council paid tribute to the Memory of David O’Brien through a Council Resolution.