Story at a glance:
- An entire Missouri police department, including the police chief and his officers, resigned.
- Kimberling City Police Chief Craig Alexander resigned on Aug. 23.
- The mass resignation reportedly caught Mayor Bob Fritz of Kimberling City off guard.
An entire Missouri police department, including the police chief and his officers, resigned leaving the city of Kimberling without immediate authority.
Citing problems like an inadequate pay rate and not having the right tools to do the job, the department has local leaders struggling to find replacements, especially when rhetoric against law enforcement is high amongst some, Fox News reported.
“It will be a struggle to fill the police department back up with qualified officers, but hopefully they can start working on that soon and get that accomplished,” Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said of the resignations at the Kimberling City Police Department, noting that most police stations are understaffed.
What preempted the mass exodus, according to Rader, was Kimberling City Police Chief Craig Alexander’s resignation on Aug. 23. He wanted changes from the town’s mayor and he wanted to better himself, Fox News reported.
Soon after, Alexander’s resignation was joined by three officers and a sergeant, with their reasons for quitting being the absence of a police clerk to assist the department, not having qualified officers in the department and wanting new opportunities with a better pay rate, according to NBC Springfield, Missouri.
It is being reported that some of the Kimberling City Police Officers left to join the Branson West Police Department, which caught Mayor Bob Fritz of Kimberling City off guard.
“I didn’t know there were that many openings in Branson West because we didn’t see an advertisement for police,” Fritz said, referring to Alexander and officer Shaun McCafferty taking jobs at the Branson West Police Department.
“[The resignations were] unexpected and the short notice disappointing,” the mayor said.
“We’re looking for officers, we’re looking for a new police chief and I think we’ll be fine,” Fritz added.
Amid protests in 2020, police officers were pressured to resign, to be held accountable for their actions including murder, and face defunding from opponents who advocate for the funding to go to other initiatives.
About 2,600 officers from New York retired in 2020, according to The New York Times, compared to the 1,509 who retired the year prior.
Portland, Ore., had 69 officers resign and 75 retire from April 2020 to April 2021, compared to 27 and 14 the previous year, respectively.
In Seattle, resignations went from 34 to 123 and retirements went up from 43 to 96.
READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA