The new-look Joplin city council will hold its first work session tonight. The topic the results of a police reallocation study. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.
During their campaign, candidates for Joplin city council, including Kate Spencer, Mark Farnham, and Brian Evans, railed against what they called Joplin’s increasingly worse homelessness problem. Spencer and Farnham were elected to four-year terms on the city council three weeks ago.
Neither will be spending their first work session addressing the homelessness issue. Instead, they will be focusing on their other top campaign priority, police understaffing and officer salaries.
According to a Police Department Resource Allocation Study available to view at the city’s website, joplinmo.org, the city is quote, “significantly understaffed to handle the reactive workload within the city while still providing a sufficient level of proactive policing to maintain Joplin’s quality of life,” unquote.
The report says that in the past four years, just over ⅓ of the Patrol Division of the Joplin Police Department has experienced turnover, indicating an oblivious retention problem for the agency. The work session will get underway tonight at 5:30 at Joplin city hall and is open to the public.