Luna named new Montgomery City police chief

By Theo Tate
Posted 6/1/23

For most of his life, Jason Luna has been a big fan of law enforcement.

On the shelves at his office at the Montgomery City Police Department, he has memorabilia of old TV cop shows such as …

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Luna named new Montgomery City police chief


For most of his life, Jason Luna has been a big fan of law enforcement.

On the shelves at his office at the Montgomery City Police Department, he has memorabilia of old TV cop shows such as CHiPs, Starsky and Hutch and Miami Vice. He even has a home video of him and his brother riding their motorcycles like the CHiPs characters, Jon and Ponch.

“I’ve always been interested in law enforcement,” Luna said.

So far, Luna is enjoying a long career in law enforcement. He has been working with the MCPD for almost 25 years.

Now, the Illinois native is enjoying his new promotion. He was appointed as MCPD’s new chief on May 15, replacing David Turner, who retired on May 1 after 25 years with the department.

“Jason has been an invaluable asset to the City and will continue to faithfully serve our citizens in this new role,” Montgomery City Administrator Steve Deves said.

Luna, who will turn 50 years old on May 31, has been with the MCPD since September 1998. He worked as a K-9 officer and lieutenant and served as interim chief following the retirement of Turner. Luna said Turner has been helpful to him during his tenure at the department.

“Chief Turner started six months before I did,” Luna said. “He was one of my FTO (field training officer) skilled training officers when I came here. He was a K-9 officer at the time, so he kind of took me under his wings earlier on with that. So our friendship initially was forged with the love of working with dogs. He helped me get my police dog. For many years, we had two police dogs. From there, we worked together and we started hunting together. We watched our kids grow up together.”

Luna will head a department that has six full-time and two reserve officers. He said one of his goals is to give his officers a chance to be promoted in the department, so he’s adding the captain position and bringing back the corporal position.

“Let’s say you have somebody in the lieutenant level,” Luna said. “That would give that person something to shoot for in the future, which will be to advance to the rank of captain. I think that will give our folks underneath the chief position some hope that they maybe could obtain. In our business, it’s all about beyond public safety. For us individually, it’s about creating a resume because some people come here and go on to bigger and better places.”

Another goal is to have computers installed in police cars. There are six full-time cars and one reserve car in the department.

“It will be the same setup the sheriff’s department guys have,” Luna said. “We’re excited about that. We signed an agreement with them last week. They’re going to try to get them in within the next month. It’s a several day process for them. In my opinion, it’s a huge financial commitment, but it’s really the way the business is going. We kind of felt that it was rapidly becoming an officer safety issue for our guys not to have them.”

Luna said he wants to see more positive interactions between police officers and citizens, just like he saw on the TV cop shows during the 1970s and 1980s.

“I think that’s what is missing in the current generation,” Luna said. “There is so much anti-law enforcement stuff out there.”

Luna said he has been working on bringing a bike program to the MCPD. He started a bike program when he worked as a patrolman years ago.

“I probably won’t be able to get it done by this year’s (Montgomery County) fair,” Luna said. “By the fair of 2024, I would like to have that accomplished and suited out.”

Luna is from Troy, Ill., just 20 minutes east of St. Louis. He was influenced by his father to move to Montgomery County years ago.

“My dad was like, ‘Why don’t you just come live with us? We built a brand new house.’ When I moved out here, I switched everything from Illinois to Missouri,” said Luna, who also owns Jay’s Barber Shop, located on 620 S. Sturgeon.


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