A Missouri police chief and all his officers quit “unexpectedly” over a lack of resources as the city scrambles to find replacements.
The Kimberling City Police Department employees gave reasons ranging from a lack of qualified officers to wanting a new career as their reasons.
Former Chief Craig Alexander reportedly told the town’s mayor that he wanted a new challenge and to better himself when he put in his resignation at the end of August, according to Ozarks First.
He is said to be transferring to the nearby Branson West Police Department.
Sergeant Aaron Hoeft resigned this week, saying that it would be “impossible” to do his job well with the Kimberling City Police Department in the shape it is in.
“Unfortunately the inevitability of having no qualified officers at the current pay rate and no police clerk able to assist in the administration side of running this department, I feel it would be impossible to do the job at the best of my abilities,” the sergeant said of his reasoning.
Three officers, Shaun McCafferty, Rutger House, and Caleb McCarty, also put in their resignations in early September.
Bob Fritz, the mayor of Kimberling, told KY3 that the departures were “unexpected,” and called the short notice the police employees gave “disappointing.”
Until Kimberling City, a small town in southern Missouri, can restaff its police department, the Stone County Sheriff’s office will be handling its calls.
“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,” Doug Rader, the sheriff said.
Sheriff Rader also pointed out that many police departments across the US are short-staffed right now due to the current climate surrounding law enforcement.
Studies suggest that law enforcement officers are quitting or retiring at much higher rates recently.
A recent survey found a 45 percent increase in the retirement rate and a nearly 20 percent increase in resignations for cops in 2020-2021 compared to a year before, according to the Police Executive Research Forum.