The issue of police officer retention in Joplin seems to have been an issue for years as officers leave to work in neighboring cities and jurisdictions. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.
President of the Fraternal Order of Police in Southwest Missouri, Lodge 27, Shelby Howard spoke in front of the Joplin city council at their meeting Monday night advocating for better pay and retirement for the Joplin Police officers. Howard also requested the restoration of overtime pay.
The 20-year veteran of the Joplin Police Department does this at a politically strategic time, nearly six months to the day of an election that could overhaul the Joplin city council. Residents will vote on five of the nine seats. Howard is concerned that younger officers are leaving Joplin for better salaries “I was recently told about a conversation between two younger officers in our department. One of the officers said to the other, I don’t want to end up like older guys. Those guys are staying with Joplin because they don’t want to lose their pension. I have to get out of here before I get stuck.” No action was taken by the city council meeting Monday. Joplin city council elections take place Tuesday, April 5, 2022.