The Riley County Police Department is unique in that it is a consolidated law enforcement agency, which is separate entity than the City of Manhattan. Riley County does not elect a sheriff, and the officers of RCPD have county-wide jurisdiction. This is different from most agencies due to the fact that most cities in a county have their own local law enforcement officers and are also served by a county sheriff's department. In contrast, the Riley County Police Department serves all of the communities within Riley County as well as the county residents, including the entire city limits of Manhattan. This arrangement provided unique legal challenges to the State of Kansas, and several statutes were adopted to make the consolidation of agencies legal, most notably is K.S.A. 19-4427.
The Riley County Law Board is an oversight committee that brings accountability of the Riley County Police Department closer to the citizens of Riley County and Manhattan. The Law Board approves RCPD expenditures and is responsible for the hiring or firing of the director of the Riley County Police Department. The Law Board provides suggestions and direction to the RCPD director.
The law board is made up of one City Commissioner from the City of Manhattan, two citizens-at-large representing the City of Manhattan, the Riley County Attorney, one Riley County Commissioner, one citizen at-large from Riley County, and a member of the governing bodies that rotates every two years between Riley County and the City of Manhattan.