Beauchamp ready to take on role as Camdenton Police Chief
After four decades of service in Camdenton, Police Chief Laura Wright announced that she would be officially stepping down from the position effective October 15. Though this decision was recently announced, newly promoted Chief Jeffery Beauchamp has been working behind-the-scenes alongside Wright for years to prepare for this moment.
Beauchamp began his career in May 1989 when he took on the role of patrolman. He would remain as a patrolman for several years until he was promoted to sergeant in 1996. He would spend many nights on the road as a member of the K-9 unit until 2011 when he was promoted to Lieutenant and moved much of his operations to the administrative side of policing.
Prior to his time in the academy, Beauchamp worked at Tan-Tar-A and became friends with members of the water patrol who led him to an interest in policing. His academy training was actually started with Osage Beach, where Beauchamp planned to start his career. However, when it came time to find a full-time position, Osage Beach didn’t have an available spot and he instead found work in Camdenton. The rest, as they say, is history.
With over 30 years of experience, Beauchamp says that this promotion feels like the final step he has been working towards since starting in the field.
“Police work is all you know because I’ve done it for so long,” Beauchamp said. “I really wanna close out my career in the Chief’s position.”
When discussing her decision to retire, Wright mentioned a desire to turn over the department to someone with fresh ideas to help Camdenton move forward. Beauchamp says that he is excited to address some of these ideas and help Camdenton move forward in a society that has seen many drastic changes in its relationship with law enforcement in 2020.
Firstly, Beauchamp says it’s important for him to emphasize a strong community-police relationship. While in-house policies and procedures will see changes as he further adopts the role, he says the relationship his deputies have with the people of Camdenton is a main priority that will be emphasized immediately.
“People bring us snacks and buy us coffee; we have a strong relationship with this community,” Beauchamp said. “We need to maintain that trust.”
Beauchamp says he hopes to continue the community-policing programs that the city has already installed and wants to find ways to improve upon them moving forward. He says he wants to sit down with the department’s supervisors and individual deputies to find out what they each want to see within the department to help it grow.
One of the key challenges Beauchamp foresees is the difficulty in finding new applicants for deputy positions. Between pay levels and societal relationships being at a stressful point with law enforcement, he understands that it’s harder than ever to fully staff a department. However, with a number of tuning changes to help the department run efficiently and effectively, Beauchamp is confident in his first year moving ahead as the new Chief of the Camdenton Police Department.
“It won’t be big changes, it will be little changes here and there, and we will have to change within as well,” Beauchamp said. “We are going to become a community-oriented police department and continue to improve all around.”