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Joplin Police Make Service Cuts - How Will That Impact You? We' - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Police Make Service Cuts - How Will That Impact You? We've Got The Answer

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

     18 nights ago during a city council meeting...Joplin Police Chief Matt Stewart talked about the possibility of having to cut a number of services the department provides.
     18 nights later...we can say provided...because a number of services have *officially* **been** cut.
Captain Trevor Duncan, Joplin Police Department: "We're simply changing the ways were taking those reports."
Captain Trevor Duncan with the Joplin Police Department sums up the situation the department is in.
Duncan: "As a department we're facing some challenges on manpower and staffing, and it's created the issues that we're in now, so we're basically having to prioritize what calls we're responding to, how reports are going to be taken, how detectives are going to handle what cases."
One of the services being cut - responses to "past-tense crimes."
Lets break that one down.
Lets say you get home and notice someone has broken out your car window - but there's nobody around now - that is a past tense crime, and officers will *not* respond.
You can however, file a report online or at the JPD lobby on third street.
However, if you arrive home - and someone is breaking out car windows on the street - officers will respond - because there's an opportunity to catch the suspect.
Now - back to the city, part of the staffing equation - is funding.
But City Manager Sam Anselm says it's not as black and white as it seems.
Sam Anselm, Joplin City Manager: "A lot of residents i think have the misconception that the city just has one big pot of money that we can draw from and spend however we want, in actuality, the city has several different funds, in excess of 25 different funds that are all restricted, and can only be spent for certain purposes."
Additionally - tax revenues from specific sources, like the parks and storm water sales tax, even if they're in excess, can't be transferred.
Anselm: "We can't use those sales tax revenues to fund police officer salaries, or fire fighter salaries because state law prohibits that."
As for how long the service cuts could last...
Duncan: "At this time we don't know how long they're going to last."
     A Facebook group called Unity In The Community is urging folks to attend the next city council meeting to show support for JPD and Joplin Firefighters.
     That'll be Monday, June 4th.

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Chris Warner
Reporter

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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