An entire police department of Kimberling City, Missouri, has resigned from their positions citing pay and resources, leaving the city without immediate security.
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, especially when rhetoric against law enforcement is high amongst some, Fox News reported.
Soon after, Alexander’s resignation was joined by three officers and a sergeant, with their reasons for quitting being the absence of a police clerk to assist the department, not having qualified officers in the department and wanting new opportunities with a better pay rate, according to NBC Springfield, Missouri.
It is being reported that some of the Kimberling City Police Officers left to join the Branson West Police Department, which caught Mayor Bob Fritz of Kimberling City off guard.
“I didn’t know there were that many openings in Branson West because we didn’t see an advertisement for police,” Fritz said, referring to Alexander and officer Shaun McCafferty taking jobs at the Branson West Police Department.
Amid protests in 2020, police officers were pressured to resign, to be held accountable for their actions including murder, and to face defunding from opponents who advocate for the funding to go to other initiatives.
The resignations come as small-town police departments across the country struggle to stay staffed as crimes increase and following more than a year of politicians and activists calling for departments to be defunded.
A recent survey found there has been a 45% increase in the retirement rate and a nearly 20% increase in resignations from officers in 2020-2021 compared to the previous year, according to the Police Executive Research Forum.
Larger cities’ police departments have also struggled with staffing amid the anti-police sentiment and their local leaders supporting the defunding of the police movement last summer. But liberal leaders, like in Seattle, have recently reversed course and called for departments to be beefed up.
“As a city, we cannot continue on this current trajectory of losing police officers,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said during a press conference in July. “Over the past 17 months, the Seattle Police Department has lost 250 police officers, which is the equivalent of over 300,000 service hours. We’re on path to losing 300 police officers.”
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 Seattle, resignations went from 34 to 123and retirements went up from 43 to 96.