Joplin Police Chief Matt Stewart looks back at his 20 years with JPD

Stewart announced he is retiring next year

Joplin’s Chief of Police, Matt Stewart, announced today, he’s retiring, early next year.

Matt Stewart has been Joplin’s Chief of Police since March of 2016. “Being the police chief is never a thing I ever imagined would happen.”

He started his career January 3 rd of 2000, when he was just 23. “I remember trying to make sure I could make it through my first year.”

In 20 years,there’s been good times…”There’s lots of things over the years that we look back on now and have a good laugh about, some of those things were pretty stressful at the time, and when you look at it now, it’s kind of funny, but there were just lots of different things.”

And, there’s been bad times…”Probably one of the most difficult times was when we lost Officer Tim Nielson, I was a corporal whenever that happened, and that was a difficult time for me personally as well as our agency, and then whenever Officer Dave Brewer and his wife were killed in a motorcycle crash, that occurred while I was police chief, and that was a very difficult time as a leader for the agency to handle that and work with the family and work with our officers, so those are probably the two most difficult times.”

And in between those events, came May 22 nd , 2011. “Just seeing the amount of devastation, was pretty overwhelming, one of the great things about it, was to see how the community came together, how other law enforcement agencies came to our aid.”

In the end, Stewart says he wouldn’t trade it for anything. “Overall, it’s been a great career, things happen in a flash, it’s really been a lot of fun, I’ve been able to raise my family while I’ve been here, and the support I’ve received from the city, as well as this agency, has just been outstanding.”

Chief Stewart says his best times have been with fellow officers, but he is looking forward to spending more time with his family. His last day is January 3 rd marking his 20 th anniversary with the department.

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