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Kimberling City, Mo. Police Department reports increase in applications following officer resignations

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 3:46 PM CDT
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KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. (KY3) -The Kimberling City community faced concerns after all of its officers and the police chief turned in letters of resignation.

City leaders say they have confidence these positions will be filled. Mayor Bob Fritz says 24 hours after the announcement, applications started coming into the city.

“As of yesterday, we had 50 applications for police chief and we have 20-plus applications for police officers,” Mayor Fritz said.

Mayor Fritz says Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader will assist them with the process of going through each application.

”(We want) To see which one fits into our area and the qualification of those officers,” Mayor Fritz said.

On Tuesday night, the police committee met to discuss the hiring of new officers. Around 60 in the community showed up.

”We had two questions from the audience, one was very positive, the other one was from an individual who had concerns we don’t have police and what are our plans. Those were all addressed,” said Mayor Fritz.

He says during the meeting they also discussed pay concerns and possible solutions to issues that were brought up in the letters of resignation.

”We’ve been looking at putting it on the ballot, which would be next April, about having a ballot issue put up there for security, safety and police,” Mayor Fritz said.

He says some people see that as tax increase.

”To get your police department, the wages, infrastructure in your cities, you have to look at this,” said Mayor Fritz.

Kimberling City currently has the lowest property tax in Stone County, despite being the largest city. The mayor says a future ballot issue is an option.

The last police officer will leave on September 21. Until those positions are filled, the Stone County Sheriffs Office will assist in Kimberling City. City leaders say their focus is on moving forward.

”We know there were issues, now we correct those issues, we correct these problems and get things right so change can be good,” said Fritz.

Mayor Fritz says he hopes to have an announcement on new hires in October.

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