WSPD Loses Two Officers in a Month
Wed, 07/29/2020 - 11:57am admin
Willow Springs Police Department is down two well-respected officers this month. Corporal Brian Jackson took his leave from the department on July 2 after nearly ten years in Willow Springs. Officer Paden Turnbull will complete his tenure as a full time officer this week.
Each officer will continue their careers in law enforcement. Jackson accepted a position in Mountain Grove, and Turnbull will be starting with the West Plains Police Department.
Despite criticism that his leadership is a factor in the rate of turnover in the department, Chief Bryan Hogan says the turnover has more to do with the rate of pay the department can offer versus what the officers can earn elsewhere.
“I think we have to look at each individual situation here,” he said, “We have to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money, and that sometimes means cutting overtime.”
Responding specifically to concerns that the work environment is hostile or dysfunctional, Chief Hogan said, “We all seem to get along.”
A former employee of the department who requested to remain anonymous presented a counterpoint, describing a “toxic” atmosphere during his time in the department and alleging that several “good officers” left the department for this reason.
Chief Hogan maintains that the camaraderie among the officers in his department is strong. In the Back the Blue series that appeared in Howell County News from January to February 2020, several of the officers profiled, including then-Corporal Jackson, agreed.
“I don’t think people realize how lucky we are to have the guys we have,” he said in an interview that appeared in the February 19 edition, “Jim (Hedlesten) has sixty years. Assistant Chief Ellison has 35 years. Chief Hogan has 30 years. You’re not gonna find a small town with experience like that.”
Chief Hogan said high officer turnover is simply a problem shared by most small town police departments, pointing out that until recently, Mountain View Police department was down three patrolmen.
WSPD is currently hiring, and one new officer, Officer John Thomas, began work with the department this month.