New police chief and other officers start in Clever, Mo.

By  | 

CLEVER, Mo -- There's a new team of police officers watching over the town of Clever. Over the last year the police department and city officials in Clever were fighting over pay for the officers. Which eventually led to the police chief and two other officers leaving the department.
But new police chief, Jeff Lofton, says salary is no longer an issue.

"Thanks to the city council, they have addressed that pay issue and benefits," explained Lofton."We are looking at a range of pay for officers that is very competitive with the deputy structure, with the other officer structure that is within our region."

Some people in Clever are upset with how the police department's pay was handled by the city.

"After the fact we voted the pay raises in after they left and that is kind of what left a bad taste in my mouth." Doug Kramer said.

And they are hoping for continued progress...

"I thought the last chief was moving in the right direction with the force. And I am hoping that the new chief will do the same thing." Kramer continued.

Chief Lofton and the two new officers, Kainon Bouldin and Logan High, are all coming to Clever from the Christian County Sheriff's office. So they are familiar with the town.

"There is still resonances of what happened in the past, and holes and things that we are finding that we will fix and be transparent with the community." said Bouldin.

And they are hoping to be proactive in their policing.

"You have the issues of drugs coming into small towns, and you have the issues of people that like to hide out here with pretty high felony warrants. We want to get rid of that." said High.

Chief Lofton is hoping to stabilize a department that has seen a lot of turnover the last few years.

"We need to bring the department up to 2019 with policy, procedure, structure, tools to do our job. Those are the kind of things that are the immediate focus." Lofton added.

Chief Lofton and the other officers were sworn in on Tuesday.