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Joplin Council Hears Proposals For Increasing Police & Fire Sala - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Council Hears Proposals For Increasing Police & Fire Salaries

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

     It's been circled on the calendars of a whole lot of Joplin residents for weeks, now.
     The June 4th city council meeting.
     Residents were encouraged to show up and show support for Joplin police officers and firefighters...and their need for better pay.
     And while that issue wasn't specifically on tonight's agenda...something that could help was.
     The city's budget.

   That presentation was so important, that the council voted to rearrange the agenda to get other items out of the way so they would have plenty of time to hear Finance Director Leslie Haase's presentation.
   The presentation was broken down into three categories over eighty pages.
  Those categories included revenue, cuts, and procedure changes.
   Some of the revenue options included tax increases, primarily property taxes.
   Additionally, in the cuts, staffing reductions across the board, including police and fire.
   That's the section that met with opposition.

Matt Stewart, Joplin Police Chief: "Especially if we reduced our entire fleet by 13 cars, is making sure we had the ability of having cars available when we need them in a time of disaster, or whenever we have a major incident going on and making sure our officers are able to get to where they need to go."

    Joplin Fire Chief Jim Furgerson was presented with the option of going from a four-man staff at stations to a three-man staff-  and he was against that proposal.

Jim Furgerson, Joplin Fire Chief: "My task as a fire chief is to make sure the citizens of Joplin are safe and that the men and women of my department are safe, so, I will always, always advocate for safety instead of pay."

        Something City Manager Sam Anselm wanted to stress, tonight's presentation was exactly that, a presentation.
      Council is expected to look over the information, and begin the first step in determining what the city truly can do or can't do.

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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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