A Missouri police chief said that he and all of his officers tendered their resignations, saying the pay rate is too low and that his officers don’t have the proper equipment to perform their duties.
Kimberling Mayor Bob Fritz confirmed to local media outlets that the officers and former chief Craig Alexander submitted their resignations.
“Have I ever said no to you guys? No, you haven’t. So how can I explain this right here? I have no idea,” the mayor said, according to Ozarkfirst.
To deal with the issue, Fritz said he will lean on help from the Stone County Sheriff’s Department and the nearby city of Branson West.
“A mutual aid agreement with Stone County Sheriffs Office and the City of Branson West in that they’ll assist Kimberling City until our police department is at full capacity,” the mayor said in a statement. “As of today, we have eight resumes and some of them are unbelievable. And like I told the city administrator, start setting up interviews and everything too. I think we can have this taken care of this, I’m hoping in the next few weeks or so.”
Letters signed by several of the officers cited different reasons for leaving the department, including low pay, a lack of staffing, better employment opportunities, and more, according to the local news website.
Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said that his office will handle emergency calls until the Kimberling department is fully staffed, although he admitted that it will be difficult to find qualified individuals to work there.
“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,” Rader said regarding the resignations at the Kimberling City Police Department.
But until the staffing is complete, “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,” he continued.
Their resignations come in the midst of a wave of anti-police animus that was triggered during last summer’s riots and protests following the death of George Floyd. FBI data also suggests that crime, including violent crimes like homicide and rape, are on the rise across the United States.
An analysis from The Epoch Times earlier this year revealed that numerous officers are retiring earlier or are simply resigning in the country’s largest police departments, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.