An entire Missouri police department, including the police chief and his officers, resigned leaving the city of Kimberling without immediate authority.
Citing problems like an inadequate pay rate and not having the right tools to do the job, the department has local leaders struggling to find replacements, according to NBC Springfield, Missouri.
The mass resignation reportedly caught Mayor Bob Fritz of Kimberling City off guard.
“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,” Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said of the resignations at the Kimberling City Police Department, noting that most police stations are understaffed.
What preempted the mass exodus, according to Rader, was Kimberling City Police Chief Craig Alexander’s resignation on Aug. 23. He wanted changes from the town’s mayor and he wanted to better himself, the station reported.
Soon after, Alexander’s resignation was joined by three officers and a sergeant, with their reasons for quitting being wanting new opportunities with a better pay rate, the absence of a police clerk to assist the department, and not having qualified officers in the department, according to the report.
“The resignations were unexpected and the short notice disappointing,” Mayor Bob Fritz said.
“We’re looking for officers, we’re looking for a new police chief and I think we’ll be fine,” Fritz added.
Amid protests in 2020, police officers were pressured to resign rather than to be held accountable for their actions including murder.
About 2,600 officers from New York retired in 2020, according to The New York Times, compared to the 1,509 who retired the year prior.