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Police chief, entire force abruptly quit at once in MO city

Police car lights. (Dan Scanlan/Florida Times-Union/TNS)
September 10, 2021

A Missouri police chief and all of his officers unexpectedly resigned from the police force late last month, reports revealed this week. The officers cited a myriad of reasons, including pay rate and not having the necessary tools to accomplish the job.

Kimberling City Police Chief Craig Alexander tendered his resignation on Aug. 23, telling the town’s mayor that he wanted a change to improve himself. The chief’s resignation was quickly followed by three officers and a sergeant, according to KY3 this week.

In addition to pay rate and tools for the job, the officers said not having a police clerk to assist the department, a lack of qualified officers and new opportunities all played a role in their decisions to resign.

“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 following the announced resignations.

“I didn’t know there were that many openings in Branson West because we didn’t see an advertisement for police,” Mayor Bob Fritz said. Both Chief Alexander and officer Shaun McCafferty accepted positions at the Branson West Police Department.

Fritz called the resignations “unexpected” and said the short notice was “disappointing.”

“It is unfortunate these officers have decided to leave the city at this time. This was unexpected, and the short notice is disappointing,” officials said in a statement to OzarksFirst.

“The Mayor and Board of Aldermen have given full approval to recruit a new Police Chief and supporting staff, and they will be hired as soon as possible,” it continued.

The Stone County Sheriff’s office will take all emergency calls while the Kimberling department works to become fully staffed.

“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,” Sheriff Rader said.

According to a recent survey by the Police Executive Research Forum as reported by NPR, there has been a 45 percent increase in retirement rate and an almost 20 percent increase in resignations between 2020 and 2021 when compared to the previous year.

“As a city, we cannot continue on this current trajectory of losing police officers,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said earlier this year. “Over the past 17 months, the Seattle Police Department has lost 250 police officers, which is the equivalent of over 300,000 service hours. We’re on path to losing 300 police officers.”