The Chief of Police and officers for Kimberling City, Missouri, have resigned. The police force, located in a small town, had three officers, one sergeant, and one police chief. The police chief Craig Alexander submitted his notice on August 23rd after accepting a position in a nearby town. Following his resignation, the others followed suit, submitting their resignation with almost no notice. Kimberling City Mayor Bob Friz said, “The resignations were ‘unexpected and the short notice disappointing.’ “
Several factors led to the officers’ departures. The reasons included the pay rate, not enough qualified officers, lack of an administrative office clerk, and other opportunities to better themselves.
According to KY3 “Chief Craig Alexander said he is accepting another position with Branson West Police Department along with Officer Shaun McCafferty.” Mayor Fritz is in the process of trying to find qualified officers and a new police chief. He’s assured new hires that he will improve their pay and benefits to increase police retention. Even with the city’s challenges, he said, “I think we’ll be fine.”
In the meantime, the Stone County Sheriff’s Department and the city of Branson West will assist with calls in Kimberling City. Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told KSPR, “Until then, we will be answering all the calls in Kimberling City, we can’t enforce city ordinances, but any other calls we will be handling at this time.” Radar acknowledged the nationwide trend of police staffing shortages. He knows it will be challenging to fill the necessary position but hopes “they can start working on that soon and get that accomplished.”
In today’s tenuous climate, with the Defund the Police movement increasingly amplified by Democrat politicians, it’s no wonder the police departments are suffering. In June 2021, the Police Executive Research Forum found a 45% increase in officers retiring and a 20% increase in officers’ resignations from the prior year. The study also found a 5% decrease in the number of new hires from 2019-2020 to 2020-2021. The agencies with 250 sworn personnel or more, typically found in larger cities, had the largest decrease in new hires. Agencies with 250-499 officers saw a 29% reduction, and agencies with more than 500 saw a 36% reduction in new hires.
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