Fair Grove Finally Finds New Police Chief


Former Fair Grove PD Officers Derek Zentner and Brian Way (from left to right) reenact a car crash scene in a presentation for Fair Grove students.

Mitch Van Cleave, Editor in Chief

Since the resignation of former Fair Grove Police Chief, Adam Mallory, in early July, the position has remained vacant. However, the job is expected to be taken by John Enderle, Captain of Highway Patrol Troop D.

A few months ago, the City of Fair Grove had a full police department, but currently there is only one officer employed full time. As of now, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department is providing 24 hour coverage for the city while the department is being rebuilt.

Several officers have left the department within the past few months. Alderwoman Dayna Ault stated, “There were four or five who resigned before we lost the Chief. When they resigned, we replaced them, and before we knew it, another would resign. It is kind of normal in a small police department to have frequent turn-over.” She continued, “As soon as they got an offer for a better paying position, they would take it. Some left because there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for advancement here. I know there were other reasons, including problems with the mayor and some of the aldermen. ”

The city recently decided to raise the pay for both the chief and officers due to the suggestion of Greene County Sheriff, Jim Arnott. According to Ault, before the raise, Fair Grove was the lowest paying department in all of southwest Missouri.

After the recent election of Fair Grove’s new mayor, Stephen Short, the former Chief of Police resigned, followed soon by the majority of the remaining department. (Staff has reached out to Mayor Short for comment, and plans on updating this article accordingly based on the response.)

Ault commented, “The board is very confident in our election of our soon-to-be new chief, John Enderle, from the Bolivar area.” While the appointment of the new chief isn’t quite official, it seems that he will be confirmed at the next city council meeting, and will be joining the force on November first.

Enderle plans on retiring from his position as Captain of Highway Patrol to take the new position. He stated, “I’m getting older on the patrol, and I believe that I can offer my services to Fair Grove and help with the relationship between the community and police department.” He continued, “Dealing with people and helping employees has always been my goal. I try to take care of citizens and employees, and I think it’s made me successful. I’ll try to do the same thing with Fair Grove.”

The city council meeting where Enderle is expected to be appointed will occur on October 13th. He concluded, “It will be hard to leave the patrol, but Fair Grove is giving me a great opportunity to help the public in a new way.”