BRANSON, Mo. — Days after former Branson Police Department Chief of Police Jeff Matthews resigned, the city has named its next head of the police.
Eric Schmitt, who has been serving as the assistant chief for the BPD since 2017, was announced as the new chief of police at a press conference today.
Previously, Schmitt served as a law enforcement officer in the metro Denver area for 25 years, according to a press release from the city.
“I have seen the outstanding work Eric does every day to lead our Police Department by example,” wrote Branson Mayor Larry Milton in the release. “He is a humble servant who is dedicated to our community.”
Schmitt spoke at the announcement, thanking his family, the community, God and so on. He spoke about the frequent turnover of police chiefs in Branson, stating that he “was here to stay.”
A new assistant police chief has not been announced, Schmitt said. He added that the department would promote a current employee rather than hire someone outside the department.
The announcement today comes after former Chief Matthews announced that he was resigning from his position on Monday, Dec. 12, effective immediately. The resignation occurred in the middle of an internal human relations investigation that concerned Matthews and BPD Sergeant Pat Gray. The details of that investigation have yet to be released by the City of Branson and BPD.
During the announcement, Mayor Milton said that the investigation found that inappropriate conduct was found during the investigation. The results of the investigation are being reported to the state.