Updated: Sep 13, 2021
The entire Kimberling City, Missouri police department, including the police chief and his officers, have all resigned leaving the city reliant upon the Stone County Sheriff's
Department for police protection. The entire force quit within two weeks of each other “because of poor pay and not having the proper tools to do the job.”
The exodus began with Kimberling City Police Chief Craig Alexander’s resignation on Aug. 23. Alexander was soon joined by three officers and a sergeant, with the officers variously citing pay, working conditions and officer qualifications as reasons for their departures.
"I tried to remain a servant to the people and the officers I worked with. I always wanted this department to be the best it could be,' Alexander said. 'But today is my last day. I am no longer able to do my very best under the current administration, and the citizens deserve the very best."
Bransontrilakesnews.com reported former mayor and alderman, Jason Hulliung, said the Kimberling City Police Department was an incredible asset to the city.
“They can spin it any way they want, but the simple fact is when you have that much expertise leaving your community there is a bigger problem. We have an amazing police department that has unbelievable support from the community. For these guys who started their careers, in most cases, in Kimberling City, who have been here for 18 plus years, to leave this job took a really heartfelt decision to make that move,” Hulliung said. “Unfortunately, I believe it is due to the current administration, the mayor and the administrator. I would prefer to see a resignation letter from those two rather than from our police department.”
The UK’s Daily Mail reported the officers' resignations come as police officers from all over the US are quitting or retiring early in droves.
A recent survey found that there has been a 45% increase in the retirement rate and a nearly 20% increase in resignation from officers in 2020-2021 compared to the previous year, according to NPR.
"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," said Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader.
Sheriff Rader, said his department will not be able to deal with city ordinances for Kimberling, leaving a significant gap in law enforcement services for the community.
In addition, Yahoo News reported Sheriff Rader offered insight into the struggles of policing in the US today, saying a lot of departments were experiencing staffing issues.
For example, police in Phoenix have been experiencing the same issues with staffing, which is said to date back to the year 2000. However, senior officials within the City of Phoenix have noticed a growing rate of turnover in their 2,900 officers.
“We are losing on average more than 11 more than we are hiring every month. That’s a significant number and it’s not a number seeing turnaround,” Executive Assistant Chief Mike Kurkenback said, according to ABC15 on 8 September.
According to reporting by The Hill’s Christian Spencer, 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.
Portland, Ore. had 69 officers resign and 75 retire from April 2020 to April 2021, compared to 27 and 14 the previous year, respectively.
In defund the police epicenter Seattle, the Daily Mail reported the city's police department saw about 250 officers quit since the start of 2020, with another 200 set to lose their jobs because they are refusing the city's vaccine mandate.
In Minneapolis, homicides increased by 60% in 2020, with many of the crimes left unsolved because there are fewer police detectives and other resources to work the cases. Things have gotten so bad that the city’s residents are filing a lawsuit against the city council to restore police funding.
“We are in an urgent state of emergency right now due to the crime,” said Cathy Spann, one of the plaintiffs in the case, told KSTP news. “As citizens, the City of Minneapolis owes us. We have a right to expect that we can be safe walking the street, that our children can play in their yards. Enough is enough.”
For its part, the city’s council seems to still be in disbelief that cutting the police force will lead to an increase in violent crime.
As the writers for the National Police Support Fund explained, while anti-police advocates like to say that defunding measures do not have an impact on violent crime, the statistics clearly tell a different story.
police department resigns
Stone County Sheriff's Department
Police Chief Craig Alexander
police officer retirements
Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader
Police Department Staffing
Defund the police
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