New Park Ranger positions discussed at Joplin city council meeting

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The city of Joplin, as early as next year, could hire park rangers to patrol the city’s 22 parks and greenways. It was one of the topics discussed at last night’s council meeting. The vision of hiring rangers to patrol the city’s greenspaces was born out of the 2020 citywide listening tour conducted by City Manager Nick Edwards.

Many respondents said they didn’t feel safe using Joplin’s parks and would use them more frequently if the city hired rangers.

Councilmember Kate Spencer exchanged thoughts on the topic with Joplin Chief of Police Sloan Rowland during last night’s meeting. “I would like to know for the average police officer starting out what their salary is compared to this 57,000 dollar park ranger. We’re about, huh, $37,000.”

The two new park rangers would monitor Joplin’s park from 3:30 pm until midnight, seven days a week. No decisions were made on whether to fund the new positions. If the roles are ultimately approved, the rangers would be a part of the 2023 city budget.

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