Spoilerton, MO—They said it couldn’t be done. They said it was impossible. As police leaders across the country struggle to regain trust and legitimacy within their communities, one police chief is making headway and headlines at the same time.
Meet Spoilerton, Missouri Police Chief Peter Boppy. In only his first two months in office, Chief Boppy has arguably achieved more to bring a torn community together than any other police leader in the nation.
Chief Boppy began his rise to police leadership stardom shortly after he graduated from the Mattel Police Institute in Louisville.
Spoilerton was a community still reeling from racial tension after a white police officer shot a black man who police allege was robbing a local bank.
Many in the community contest the man, Sylvester Castro, was only showing a bank employee his new gun which he received as a graduation present from his grandmother. Frightened, they say, after the teller threw a large bag of cash at him, Castro ran out of the bank and accidentally discharged his registered graduation gift multiple times in the vicinity of responding officers.
Spoilerton’s black community expressed outrage at the department’s handling of the bank incident, which led to the firing of former Police Chief Rick Harrison and installation of Boppy.
After protestors descended on City Hall, they were pleased with how newly appointed Chief Boppy listened to their grievances, accepted their finger-pointing, and maintained his professionalism with an almost inhuman composure.
Surveys among Spolierton’s black citizens show that 92.3% of blacks now feel safer under Boppy’s leadership. 94.9% of blacks feel they are being treated more fairly and a staggering 97.2% have regained trust in the Spoilerton Police Department.
Black Lives Matter activist Sharice Cole says they’ve never been more impressed than with Chief Boppy and his willingness to find middle ground.
“He’s an inspiration,” said Cole. “He listens to us, he truly listens. We know we can bounce ideas off of him and not worry about being invalidated.”
City administrators have also praised Boppy for his compassion and flexibility. Spoilerton Mayor Phil Levy said, “Chief Boppy is a model city leader and is exactly what we need right now. You should see his resilience and ability to concede. When Chief Boppy gets knocked down, he immediately gets back up and is ready for another punch. My job is so much easier because of him and city property is so much safer.”
Since Boppy took over, protests have nearly stopped. Although violent crime has spiked which experts blame on a sudden rise in poverty, Chief Boppy and a few remaining officers who have yet to be indicted look ahead to a brighter future for Spoilerton, leaving those who live there with an inflated sense of hope and pride.