Chief and majority of Riverview Police Department abruptly resign due to pay cuts

Almost the entire Riverview Police Department abruptly resigned on Thursday following disagreements with city leaders over pay.
Published: Jun. 29, 2023 at 9:47 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Almost the entire Riverview Police Department abruptly resigned on Thursday following disagreements with city leaders over pay.

Police Chief Eddie Simmons packed up his desk, handed over his gun and badge and stepped down as the chief after six officers turned in their resignation.

“I don’t want to stay here in all this turmoil, I can’t do that,” said Simmons. “There’s two officers that stayed.”

Simmons only started on the job this summer. He was appointed by Village of Riverview Mayor Mike Cornell in June. But Simmons said the mayor made it difficult to do his job.

“I tried to run the department I was hired to run and I wasn’t given the chance to do that. The harder I tried the harder it got,” he said.

A statement from the six officers who resigned said the decision was over a pay cut.

“City officials in The Village of Riverview cut officers’ pay without notice by $8,000 in May. This is a violation of Missouri Wage and Hour 30-day wage reduction notice requirement. The newly elected Mayor and Board of Trustees have shown no support for police officers or public safety. Mayor Cornell and the Board had promised to partially reinstate raises but have yet to do so,” read the statement.

Mayor Cornell said the pay cut was a revocation of a previously issued bonus.

“The unlawful pay bonus were unjustified and given by the previous Board prior to them stepping down from office. Once the new board took their oath of office in April 2023, the information was reviewed, and it was determined that it was insufficient with our budget,” said Mayor Cornell in an email to News4.

He believes the resignation was in part due to internal corruption under investigation.

News 4 asked Chief Simmons about those allegations.

“I keep hearing about this and that but I’ve never seen anything on paper saying anything. I’m the police, I go by evidence,” said Simmons.

St. Louis County says on Friday they will assist and respond to 911 calls in the Village of Riverview, a town of about 2,500.

Neighboring Bellefontaine Neighbors will also step in to help.

“I have grave concerns for the residents of Riverview, for their protection,” said Bellefontaine Neighbors Chief Jeremy Ihler. “I’ve already given my police officers permission to render them mutual aid to protect their community.”

News 4 reached out to the Missouri Attorney General and the State Auditor to find out if there are any statewide investigations into the Riverview Police Department. We are waiting on a response.