DE SOTO, Mo. – A controversy may soon be put to rest after De Soto Police Chief Rick Draper resigns from the police department at the end of October.
At present, there is debate over finding money to better pay De Soto police officers. One of persons at the center of the debate is Chief Draper. In his resignation letter, the chief said the officers deserve so much more.
With his resignation, Draper said he hopes the city will be able to find money in the budget to pay the officers better salaries.
The De Soto Police Department provides service to 6,400 residents and handles nearly 1,500 calls per month.
Below is Chief Draper’s resignation letter sent to Fox 2 and KPLR 11:
I have submitted my resignation today my last day will be October 31st. I will resign as the Police Chief of De Soto. I believe that the focus should and must be on the critical state of staffing at the Police Department which provides service to 6400 residents roughly 1500 calls for service per month. Our Police Officers are grossly underpaid and deserve so much more. While sometimes the desire is to seek blame in these situations I believe removing myself from the equation leaves no excuse why City Hall cannot find the funding to adequately provide a living wage for those who put the lives of others before their own. The City Council I believe will continue to press the City Manager who ultimately is responsible for the budget and payroll to finds ways and funding sources to address this critical situation. I have been at De Soto since August 2004 and served as Chief for 3 years. I intend to work actively with community members and anyone else I can, to bring awareness to this issue and other issues that this city faces.