The entire police department of Kimberling City, Missouri, have resigned from their positions citing pay and resources, according to local media. The city is a small town nestled in the heart of the Ozarks, a stone’s throw away from the wholesome attractions of Branson, Missouri.
Bob Fritz, the mayor of Kimberling City, a city of about 2600 people in the state’s south, called the resigning “Unexpected and the short notice disappointing,” KY3 TV station reported.
The department consisted of five officers, including the chief of police, whose resignations have already taken effect. Every single member of the force resigned within a couple of weeks and it appears that their having all resigned in such a short time was no coincidence.
Kimberling City Mayor Bob Fritz told Branson Tri Lake News that the department is normally staffed with six officers, but a detective retired in July. In late August the Police Chief, Craig Alexander, who visited Mayor Fritz’s home on August 23, and explained he’d been offered another position, which happened to be a position with the neighboring Branson West Police Department.
On September 1 Officer Shaun McCafferty resigned, also saying he found another position. Then Officer Rutger House gave his notice of resignation on September 2 without reason. On September 7, Sergeant Aaron Hoeft resigned stating a lack of resources and qualified officers to assist him, and then the last Officer, Caleb McCarty resigned and did not give a reason.
“It’s unfortunate that the officers had to leave the city at this time. It is all unexpected. The short notice is very disappointing. We’re looking for officers, we’re looking for a new police chief, and I think we’ll be fine,” Fritz told the Tri Lake News.
While the department is being restaffed, emergency calls will be handled by the Stone County Sheriff’s Office, according to the mayor.
Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told KY3, “Until then, we will be answering all the calls in Kimberling Cit. We can’t enforce city ordinances, but any other calls we will be handling at this time. “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.”