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Joplin City Officials Still Exploring Options To Fix Police And - KOAM TV 7

Joplin City Officials Still Exploring Options To Fix Police And Fire Salaries

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

     Monday's city council meeting in Joplin had a smorgasbord of everything.
     Proposals, emotions, concern, new questions.
     But no answers.
     And while there's still disagreement over how to solve the salary issues plaguing the police and fire departments...officials agree.
     There's no easy answer.
Adam Grimes with the Joplin Professional Firefighters Union - Local 59, says both police and fire staff feel Monday's proposals - were targeted at the departments intentionally - in an effort to get them to back down.
Adam Grimes, Joplin Professional Firefighters Local 59: "Because we're being so vocal, we really felt like, a lot of these things were targeted strictly at the things that are really near and dear to each of us, mainly staffing cuts, and reduction of services to the community."
But Mayor Gary Shaw, says he doesn't believe that's the case, and wants to remind everyone - Monday's presentation was just suggestions.
Gary Shaw, Joplin Mayor: "Those aren't directions, those are just options and things that we're looking at.  Anytime you make any kind of a decision, you well know this obviously, the more information you can have the better a decision you can make."
But that decision making process - can take time.
That's where both sides agree - Grimes says this has been an issue brewing for the last decade, and while police and fire don't expect overnight results, they believe there are better solutions than ones presented Monday night.
Grimes: "We believe that you can keep the community safe, keep the right staffing on the trucks, the right number of police officers on the streets, without cutting, I think the problems that have been presented, there are solutions, without making any cuts whatsoever."
Mayor Shaw wants to reassure the men and women of the police and fire departments, and the community, they're doing everything they can.
Shaw: "They're part of our family, they're part of our city family that's making things work for our citizens, and those of us that are residents here, sometimes people forget that the council people are residents too, and the city means something to us."
     Mayor Shaw says they're hoping to have a work session on Monday to discuss in detail this past Monday's presentation...and explore other options as well.
 

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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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