Both Branson Police Chief Caroll McCullough and Fire Chief Carl Sparks announced their retirements earlier this week. Sparks plans to retire in May and McCullough plans to retire in June.
“While it is very unusual for both positions to come open at the same time, I was aware this was a possibility when I first met them in 2008,” Branson City Administrator Dean Kruithof, said in a news release. "My goal will be to find the best candidates for these important positions and have the selection take place before Caroll and Carl retire."
A national search has already begun for their successors, but the positions could be filled internally, the release said.
McCullough, who has been with the Branson Police Department for 23 years, has served as police chief since 2005. Prior to being appointed chief, he was the assistant police chief for 15 years.
"After a total of 29 years in law enforcement, I’m going to take a break,” McCullough said in the release. “The job has been challenging, but also enjoyable.”
McCullough has no immediate plans following his retirement other than to spend time with his family, according to the release.
During his stint as police chief, McCullough was instrumental in tightening alcohol regulation by starting alcohol compliance checks of businesses selling liquor; changing patrol car markings to black and white for greater community visibility; placing a school resource officer at Branson High School; and upgrading the department's records management system.
Sparks came to Branson from Banning, Calif., when he was named fire chief in 1995.
"God has blessed me with an incredible 42 years in the fire service,” Sparks said in the release. "The highlight of my career was the blessing of coming to Branson.
"I was given the opportunity to accomplish things beyond my imagination, things that any fire chief would love to have done.”
As his first act of business as fire chief, Spark reorganized the department into four divisions: administrative, technical services, operations and emergency management.
He initiated the process for Branson to become the 12th city in the state to be certified as a Missouri StormReady Community, and increased the number of storm sirens from 12 to 21.
Among his other accomplishments was the creation of the Community Emergency Response Teams program, which teaches citizens how to be first-aid responders; the creation of two fire stations; and an increase of personnel from six to 33.
After retirement, Sparks plans to do some part-time work and finish a book he's writing, according to the release.[[In-content Ad]]