Columbia Police Department Chief Ken Burton resigns
COLUMBIA - Ken Burton resigned as police chief of the Columbia Police Department, the city announced in a late afternoon press release Friday.
Burton had been placed on administrative leave last week.
The press release said Burton submitted his resignation, effective January 3 at 5 p.m., to Interim City Manager John Glascock. Chief Burton will remain on paid administrative leave until his resignation date.
With Burton's resignation, Dale Roberts, Executive Director of the Columbia Police Officers' Association, said their "long ordeal is over."
The city said Deputy Chief Jill Schlude will remain in the role as acting police chief. The release said in the coming weeks, Glascock will be conducting a process to fill the interim chief of police.
The release said a search for a permanent chief of police will not begin until after the Columbia City Council has installed a new city manager.
Burton's resignation comes after various calls for him to step down. Here's a timeline of notable events related to his career:
April 25, 2012: The Missouri Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) called for Ken Burton to resign for wrongful termination of officer Rob Sanders, KOMU reported. The union cited Burton’s "lack of response" to complaints within the police department and "questionable integrity."
April 26, 2012: Burton responds to FOP's calls for termination.
July, 19 2016: Race Matters Friends calls for Burton to resign after members were angered by Burton’s response to racial profiling.
Nov. 20, 2018: City manager Mike Matthes resigns, partially due to how he handles community policing efforts.
Dec. 20, 2018: Burton was placed on paid administrative leave.
Dec. 28, 2018: Burton resigns.
Wilson-Kleekamp said she hopes the city hires a new police chief with a wider world view.
"We need people who live in multi-dimensional worlds and can see things from multiple perspectives and I think that that was really a downfall of Chief Burton," she said.