Entire Police Department Abruptly Resigns in Missouri

NEW YORK -
A St. Clair County Sheriff officer during a manhunt that followed a shooting on Thursday. (Daniel Shular/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

The entire police department of the city of Kimberling, Missouri, resigned, leaving the city scrambling to find officers. The police cited low pay and more support from the city, the Hill reported.

Kimberling City Police Chief Craig Alexander resigned on Aug. 23 over clashes with the mayor over what he saw as insufficient support, and wanting new opportunities with better benefits.

He was followed by three officers and a sergeant, who said they quit over the absence of a police clerk to assist the department, the lack of qualified officers, and seeking positions with more incentives.

Some of the Kimberling City police took jobs with the nearby Branson West Police Department.

“[The resignations were] unexpected and the short notice disappointing,” Mayor Bob Fritz of Kimberling City said.

“We’re looking for officers, we’re looking for a new police chief and I think we’ll be fine,” Fritz added.

There has been a significant uptick in police departments across the country being depleted since the beginning of 2020, between an unfavorable perception of police in light of the protests that sprang up after the police killing of George Floyd, the death toll of the pandemic, and officers quitting in response to vaccine mandates.

About 2,600 officers from New York retired in 2020, according to The New York Times, more than 1,000 more than the number who retired in 2019.

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smarcus@hamodia.com