JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Zim Schwartze, director of the Springfield-Greene County 911 emergency communications, has been named the new chief of the Missouri Capitol Police effective Jan. 6.
Schwartze is also an adjunct instructor at the Law Enforcement Training Institute at the University of Missouri, a position she has held since 1995.
Throughout her career in public safety, spanning nearly three decades, Schwartze has served in the Columbia Police Department, obtaining the rank of captain; and worked as the director of the Columbia/Boone County Public Safety Joint Communications and Columbia/Boone County Office of Emergency Management.
“Zim Schwartze is a proven public safety leader with experience in community policing, emergency management, emergency communications, and law enforcement education and training,” Department of Public Safety Director Sandra Karsten said in a statement. “She also has a track record of working collaboratively with other public safety agencies, supporting members of her teams and transparency with the public.”
“She’s an ideal fit for Missouri Capitol Police,” Karsten said.
Schwartze didn’t always plan for a career in law enforcement. She originally received a degree in industrial engineering from the University of Missouri but found the work to be “rather boring.”
Schwartze said she had always been interested in law enforcement so when a “good friend” who worked for the Columbia Police Department offered her a chance to ride along with him in the early 1990s, she jumped at the opportunity.
Inevitably, Schwartze fell in love with public safety and the officer, who is now her husband.
“It’s truly a passion and a drive to want to help people. Whether you’re in law enforcement, 911, fire, EMS, it is truly a passion you have to help people,” Schwartze told The Missouri Times. “I think sometimes that’s overlooked. It’s truly a calling.”
Schwartze said she’s looking forward to getting to know the other officers, lawmakers, and staff members who work in the Capitol every day. And as a proponent of community policing, she plans to have a rather hands-on approach with her new job.
“I’m very in touch with the folks that we serve — which in our case is not only the public coming to visit, but the staff and legislators who work there. That is our community, and I’m so excited to get in that world,” Schwartze said.
Aside from her industrial engineering degree, Schwarte also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri. Additionally, she is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Northwestern University Center of Public Safety.
Since the Department of Public Safety announced Schwartze’s hiring, its Facebook page has been flooded with positive comments, a spokesperson noted.
Captain Brian Kempker has been serving as acting chief since Oct. 1. Mark Maples had served as the police chief from October 2017 until September.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.