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Kimberling City, MO – Kimberling City mayor Bob Fritz recently said that he was “disappointed” with the short notice of the Kimberling City Police Department’s letter of resignation of all its officers. Since August 23, all five of the department’s officers have submitted their resignation letters. A sixth officer, detective Robert Smigiel, retired back in July after serving 20 plus years.
“It is unfortunate that the officers had to leave the city at this time. It is all unexpected. The short notice is very disappointing,” Fritz said.
“I was really surprised. If you hear the dates Aug. 23, Sept. 1, Sept. 2, Sept. 7 and Sept. 8, you know no notice. I had no earlier warning that the officers were going to do this. I talked to the officers last week to try to encourage them and see what I could do as mayor. They said nothing. They said they were satisfied and this was just something they had to do after the chief was leaving.”
Former mayor blames current administration for resignations
The Stone County Sheriff’s Office will handle emergency calls until the department is staffed.
Three out of the five officers resigning cited reasons such as not having a police clerk to assist the department, not having qualified officers in the department, pay rate, and new opportunities.
“I had numerous meetings with Chief Alexander, Shuan McCafferty, Aaron Hoeft and Caleb McCarty,” Fritz said. “I did my best to visit with them but to no avail. People have to do what is best for them and have to look out for their livelihood.”
The former mayor of Kimberling City, Jason Hulliung, gave his opinion on the resignations and said that the entire department resigning indicates there are bigger issues with the city government.
“Since our current city administrator and current mayor have been in office, we have lost two long time employees of the sewer plant that were our operators. We had to outsource the sewer jobs. We lost a 17-year employee from the Public Works Department. We lost our court clerk and now we have lost our entire police department as a result of a mayor and city administrator.”