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Joplin Police Department Sees Increase In Officers Leaving For 2 - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Police Department Sees Increase In Officers Leaving For 2017

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     As for the Joplin Police Department service calls decreased from 2016 to 2017 by nearly 5,000.
     Captain Trevor Duncan says that's still pretty high for a city the size of Joplin.
     And also told us that the department is overworked.
     That's shown by an increase in resignations.
When Shelby Howard took a look at these numbers...
Howard: "Well it concerns me...(20)17 we saw a higher rate of resignations than we had in the previous couple of years, unfortunately, we're still not hiring at that rate."
He's the President of the Fraternal Order of Police...he's not the only one who's noticed the disturbing trend...but, there's another concern...
Captain Trevor Duncan: "The big thing is we are losing experienced officers and that plays a big factor in how we can do our jobs."
According to Howard, the department has lost 180 years combined experience since 2012.
Howard: "Guys are leaving to seek better employment, when I say better employment, I mean, usually more pay."
He has a word of caution for those in charge of pay...
Howard: "If you don't raise our base salary and our current officer salary to be competitive, we're not ever going to be able to maintain, we're going to lose at a faster rate than we can hire."
But, he has a note of reassurance for residents.
Howard: "The quality of service isn't necessarily worse, it's just sometimes slower, because of manpower."
Howard hopes these latest numbers will encourage city leaders to review their budgets and find ways to increase the salaries within the police department.
     Howard also noted that some of the lost experience is coming from officers who have retired.
 

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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