COLUMBIA — Columbia's former director of Public Safety Joint Communications will now serve Springfield.
Zim Schwartze, 46, was chosen to replace Becky Jungman as director of emergency communications for the city of Springfield. Schwartze will manage the city's 911 center, which services 21 emergency response agencies, according to a city of Springfield news release.
Jungman has been the emergency director since 2001 and has now retired, according the city of Springfield website.
Schwartze served the Columbia Police Department for nearly 21 years. She began as a community service aide in 1991, eventually becoming Columbia's first female captain in 2003.
As previously reported by the Missourian, Schwartze was relieved of her position in May 2012 because of what City Manager Mike Matthes cited as a "budget deletion." Schwartze was being paid $87,414 in annual salary.
Her new job in Springfield begins in mid-January at a salary of $94,135.
Schwartze had a police pension available in February of this year when Matthes discussed her staying past her retirement date. Matthes said he later discussed re-establishing a retirement date with Schwartze because of budgetary concerns.
Matthes said at the time that Schwartze did not leave her joint communications position willingly, according to a previous Missourian article. Schwartze was placed on administrative leave with a separation package.
The position in Springfield opened up several months ago, and Schwartze was offered the job Nov. 28, she said.
"I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and help plan their future path and vision. If changes need to be made, then that's fine, too," Schwartze said.
Schwartze said she will no longer need to fill the role of emergency management as well as communications as she did for Columbia because Springfield has two separate departments handling those responsibilities.
"There are over 70 employees there, and the Springfield department is definitely one we (Columbia/Boone County) look up to," she said.
Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.