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Joplin city council to continue discussions tonight about new Park Ranger positions

The Joplin city council tonight is expected to approve the creation of a new job opportunity with the city. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

The new Park Ranger positions were born out of the Citywide Listening Tour, which received 1,397 responses and was conducted by Joplin city manager Nick Edwards over two years ago.

The survey found that residents wanted the City to reduce crime and increase public safety to improve visibility and safety for citizens visiting and utilizing the City’s parks system.

Joplin’s Parks Director and Police Chief collaborated to develop the job description and work plan for this position. At a city council meeting in late September, members discussed the need and use of unarmed Park Rangers and why the funds could not be used to hire additional police officers.

Budgeting for the two new Park Ranger positions was approved on a 6 to 3 vote. The positions are funded by the Parks and Stormwater Use Tax proceeds and are included in the fiscal year 2023 budget. The formal portion of the Joplin city council meeting gets underway tonight at 6.

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.