Ordinance for new officer positions at Joplin airport to be decided on by City Council

JPD and Airport management teamed together
Ordinance for new officer positions at Joplin airport to be decided on by City Council

Flights to Chicago start June 6th at the Joplin Regional Airport

According to Airport manager Steve Stockham, these new flights will add additional hours that will be required for a police officer to be present at the security checkpoint.

“Due to the flight schedule in the afternoon there’s going to be a requirement for about six straight hours, that’s going to require an officer at the checkpoint here at the airport.”

Currently, the Joplin police department sends an officer to run the checkpoint.
Stockham says it is a TSA requirement for a uniformed officer to be at the checkpoint during flights but this arrangement with JPD will no longer work.

“They’re off and on back to the airport, that’s not going to be able to transpire during this new schedule and so in order to do whatever we could to not further impact the Joplin police department, we sit down and start studying how can we best handle this situation.”

Stockham and Joplin police worked together to propose an ordinance for City Council to amend the airport budget and create new officer positions.

“This will create a police force for the airport that’s dedicated solely to the airport itself.”

These four, new, part time positions will hopefully be filled by retired police officers.

“We believe there’s a pool of some officers out there that have recently retired, that hopefully we can tap into and get them on board fairly quickly.”

Joplin police Chief, Matt Stewart says these new positions would be commission through the police department but will work solely for the airport.

“They’ll still be sworn police officers but they’ll work under the airport direction and that way we don’t have to be pulling officers from the street to go up there and be there whenever those flights are leaving.”

If the ordinance is passed it would be a weight lifted off the police departments shoulders.

“With the additional flights coming in it would’ve been a much bigger burden on our agency having to cover those times because there’s just going to be several we would have to be up there, so by doing this it will definitely lessen that burden.”

City Council will decide on the ordinance, tonight May 20th, 2019.

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