Kimberling City’s new police chief has opened up about his vision of the future of the Kimberling City police force and the city.
Police Chief Todd Lemoine started his new position last week and has already begun to make steps to rebuild the city’s police force.
“I had two interviews on Friday. I have another interview today. I feel in just three days, I have a real momentum,” Lemoine told the Branson Tri-Lakes News. “I didn’t know what to expect stepping into this role, but my predecessors left it in good shape. My vision starts with hiring dedicated and driven top professional police officers.”
Lemoine said he will be hiring three police officers while he takes time to evaluate the needs of the city before he hires a detective.
“I really need to assess the criminal element and the day to day operations around here before I actually hire a detective,” Lemoine said. “My first plan is to hire three police officers (then) I can promote from within and see the need for any additional supervisory positions.”
Lemoine said the search is still on for the right police officers to fill the department and he is excited to hire his own team to protect and serve the citizens of Kimberling City.
According to the Kimberling City website, the city is currently accepting applications for the position of police officer.
“I am looking for elite, responsible, energetic, and dedicated professionals,” Lemoine said. “I am looking for police officers who bring with them some kind of experience, patrol experience specifically. If someone fits the criteria, I would love for them to apply.”
According to the website, applicants must be a citizen of the United States, a Missouri resident prior to being hired, at least 21 years of age, high school graduate or equivalent, possess a valid Missouri driver’s license and be Missouri P.O.S.T. certified. Applicant’s duties will include, but are not limited to, enforcing city ordinances, enforcing state and federal laws, perform routine patrol duties, responding to emergency calls, and conducting investigations.
“I think I’m looking at around 24 applicants right now, but the police officer application process was paused until the chief was hired so I could hire my own team,” Lemoine said. “The applications are now on Indeed, with all the information or someone could email me their resume and application at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Lemoine said his predecessors laid a great foundation to build on.
Lemoine outlined his future vision for Kimberling City and its police department.
“My immediate goal is to recruit and retain competent and professional police officers,” Lemoine said. “My additional tasks, I have on my agenda, is really about communication and being transparent with the city leaders, citizens and local businesses. I plan to assess and address crime in the city. We are way below the national average and I plan to keep it that way. I want to (encourage) community involvement, building efficient and effective partnerships including trust and confidence between citizens and the police department. I want Kimberling City to be known as the safest city in Missouri.”
Lemoine stressed the importance of the city moving forward with a fresh new start as the police force is being rebuilt.
“I would love for this city; the leadership, businesses, the citizens and the community as a whole to start a new chapter,” Lemoine said. I am starting a new chapter and would like the city to do so as well. It’s hard to move forward with focusing on the past. In order for us to come together as a team, as a community, we really must look at this in a positive way.”
Lemoine said he wants citizens to know he will strictly enforce the laws put into place to protect them.
“My predecessors have already laid the foundation and expectation of the citizens here in Kimberling City,” Lemoine said. “Within the first couple of weeks after moving here a local citizen told me, ‘When the speed limit signs say 30, it doesn’t mean 35 or 32 it means 30. When traveling on Highway 13 and the speed limit sign says 45, don’t go 45 until you pass the sign. I plan on keeping those expectations. I definitely have the mindset of zero tolerance.”
Lemoine said he has three things he hopes the citizens will bring to the community building relationship with the police department.
“I want them to be good citizens,” Lemoine said. “I want them to respect the police department and other city leaders. Most importantly, I want them to have the integrity to do the right thing even when no one is watching.”
Kimberling City invites the public to come meet Lemoine at a Meet and Greet on Wednesday, Nov. 10, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the City Hall Community Center, located at 34 Kimberling Blvd.