Kimberling City, MO – The Kimberling City police chief, a sergeant, and three officers have submitted their resignations, leaving the police department with no officers when they go.
The city administration said the mass exodus began when Kimberling City Police Chief Craig Alexander put in his papers on Aug. 23, KOLR reported.
Chief Alexander said he had accepted a position with the Branson West Police Department, KYTV reported.
The police chief said he was leaving Kimberling City because he needed a change and wanted to better himself.
Kimberling City Police Officer Shaun McCafferty submitted his resignation to the department on Sept. 1, KOLR reported.
Officer McCafferty said he had seen an opportunity “better myself and my employment status,” and will be joining Chief Alexander on the Branson West police force, KYTV reported.
But the resignations didn’t stop there.
Kimberling City Police Officer Rutger House submitted his resignation on Sept. 2, KOLR reported.
Officer House reportedly did not give a reason for leaving the department but city officials said that he was moving out of Missouri.
Kimberling City Police Sergeant Aaron Hoeft resigned on Tuesday, KOLR reported.
The sergeant told the city he was leaving because “unfortunately the inevitability of having no qualified officers at the current pay rate and no police clerk able to assist in the administration side of running this department, I feel it would be impossible to do the job at the best of my abilities,” KOLR reported.
Kimberling City Police Officer Caleb McCarty was the last of the team to submit his resignation on Wednesday.
Officer McCarty hasn’t said why he resigned, KOLR reported.
When Officer McCarty’s resignation goes into effect, the city will be left with no police force at all.
Kimberling City Mayor Bob Fritz called the resignation of his entire police force a surprise, KYTV reported.
“It is unfortunate these officers have decided to leave the city at this time,” Fritz said. “This was unexpected, and the short notice is disappointing.”
The mayor said he planned to move forward and address pay and benefits so that Kimberling City would be able to attract and keep officers in the future, KYTV reported.
“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,” Fritz said in a statement.
In the meantime, the Stone County Sheriff’s Department and the Branson West police have agreements to provide coverage in Kimberling City until the police department is re-staffed, KOLR reported.