City 911 director takes job in Jeff City

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After seven years with the city, Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications Director Zim Schwartze has accepted a new role in Jefferson City. She starts as the chief of the Missouri Capitol Police on Jan. 6.

“The folks at 911 and the community have welcomed me from day one,” Schwartze said in a news release. “I am very proud of the solid team we have built at the 911 department as we have made great strides over the years.”

In 2016, Schwartze was honored as the Missouri 911 Director of the Year and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International 911 Director of the Year, according to the release. Schwartze began her law enforcement career in 1991 at the Columbia Police Department. She is an adjunct instructor for Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety and the Law Enforcement Training Institute in Columbia.

"Zim has done a terrific job managing our 911 function over the last few years,” said City Manager Jason Gage, in the release. “Though we will miss her leadership, we wish her the very best."

City spokeswoman Cora Scott said a search for Schwartze’s replacement has not started. Darla Morrison, the city’s director of human resources, said a salary range for the job has not been set, but added Schwartze earned $120,440 annually.

In Jefferson City, Schwartze succeeds Mark Maples, who left the department in September after nearly two years in the role, said Missouri Department of Public Safety Communications Director Mike O’Connell, who classified Maples’ departure as a “personnel matter.” Capt. Brian Kempker has served in the role since as acting director.

Maples said Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten dismissed him from his duties without cause in September. He said his termination was politically motivated, stemming from his support of House Bill 982.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ron Hicks, R-St. Charles, would authorize the move of employment of Missouri Capitol Police officers to the Missouri State Capitol Commission, rather than the Department of Public Safety.