Police Chief Matt Stewart told the Joplin City Council tonight that his department is short 13 officers and that number may increase to 19 in the near future.
In order to continue to address the department's most vital responsibilities, Stewart said, cuts may soon be made that could include such items as responding to shoplifting calls at Wal-Mart, Kohl's and other stores, responding to accidents on private property, working on curbing graffiti and providing security for events such as 5-K runs.
According to KOAM's report, Stewart said this was not something he and his department want to do.
We've put a lot of time and effort and thought into. However in order to try and maintain some kind of pro active police agency, we had to cut some things in some places just to make sure we are paying attention to what's going on.The City Council will begin discussing the emergency services budget next month.