A Missouri police department will have no employees within the next few weeks after all officers, the sergeant and police chief all resigned, according to local reports.
The Kimberling City Police Department will be left employee-less after the staff resigned, leaving all calls to the Stone County Sheriff’s Office, according to KY 3.
“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 Doug Rader reportedly said.
Rader said “it will be a struggle to fill the police department back up with qualified officers” but that he hopes they can “start working on that soon,” according to the report. (RELATED: Police Departments Say Budget Cuts Are The Reason They’ve Been Unable To Hire New Officers)Chief Craig Alexander and Officer Shaun McCafferty both resigned after accepting positions with Branson West Police Department, according to the report. Others resigned citing lack of qualified officers, pay, no police clerk and trying to better themselves.
Kimberling City Mayor Bob Fritz reportedly said the resignations were “unexpected” and “the short notice [was] disappointing,” but that the city will seek to hire new officers while addressing pay and benefits to retain new hires.
“We’re looking for officers, we’re looking for a new police chief and I think we’ll be fine,” Fritz said, according to the report.
“And like I told the city administrator, start setting up interviews and everything too,” Fritz said, according to Ozarks First. “I think we can have this taken care of this, I’m hoping in the next few weeks or so.”
A survey from the Police Executive Research Forum found there has been a 45% increase in retirement and a roughly 20% increase in resignations from officers between 2020-2021 when compared the previous year.