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JPD Announces Cuts at City Council Meeting - KOAM TV 7

JPD Announces Cuts at City Council Meeting

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Joplin, MO -

It was a busy night for members of Joplin City Council. 

One of the items with the most draw was a staffing report involving Joplin Police. According to chief Matt Stewart, the department currently has thirteen officer vacancies -- a number that could climb to nineteen by this summer.

Chief Stewart also announced that the department would cut several of its current services. Some of them include emergency response to *non-injury crashes* on private land.. responding to property crimes that are misdemeanors.. responding to shoplifting calls at Walmart and Kohl's.. performing graffiti abatement in the city.. and providing security for 5-k runs. 

Chief Stewart says this is a decision that was not made lightly, but that it's something that has to be done.

He says, "This is not something that we want to do. We've put a lot of time and effort and thought into. However in order to try and maintain some kind of pro active police agency, we had to cut some things in some places just to make sure we are paying attention to what's going on."

Chief Stewart also says there's not a concrete timeline for when the cuts will take effect -- but that many could take effect within a month.
Council members hope to begin budget discussions for emergency services in June. 

Council also discussed filling a vacant council seat left by Joshua Bard -- who resigned from his seat last week after revelations that he had a previous drug conviction.

The council will begin accepting applications for the position tomorrow. Applications will be accepted until May 16th.

Council anticipates hearing presentations from candidates during the May 21st council meeting. 

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