Every single law enforcement officer in the town of Kimberling City, Missouri has summarily resigned, starting with the chief, and followed by a sergeant and three officers, leaving the town without police.
Police in big city settings have been resigning in droves over the past year or two, often by a whole unit at a time, due to multiple pressures, including what they feel is a lack of support from city governments. In this case, the situation appears to be a little different, however.
According to local outlet KY3, the first resignation to hit the mayor's desk was tendered on Aug. 23 2021. Chief Craig Alexander said that he would greatly miss everybody, but that he had to make a decision to resign.
This was followed later on in the week by Officer Shaun McCafferty, and then closely thereafter by those of the remaining three officers.
The town's mayor, Bob Fritz, commented that the impromptu resignations were "unexpected and the short notice disappointing."
At least two of the officers resigning have said they have accepted jobs with nearby Branson West, to which Fritz mentioned "I didn’t know there were that many openings in Branson West because we didn’t see an advertisements for police."
"We’re looking for officers, we’re looking for a new police chief and I think we’ll be fine," continued Fritz.
The municipal government hopes to fill these positions quickly, and in the meantime, the Sheriff's office will have to perform extra duties, which Sheriff Doug Rader commented on as something to be expected in this situation.
"Until [we have replacement officers ready to work], we will be answering all the calls in Kimberling City, we can’t enforce city ordinances, but any other calls we will be handling at this time," mentioned Rader.
Difficulties in filling job vacancies in 2021's America go way beyond law enforcement, however. Critics are saying that overly-generous unemployment schemes are also a large factor in employers having a tough time getting vacancies filled.