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Joplin's Police Chief to retire after 35-year public safety career

Joplin Police Chief Sloan Rowland
Joplin Police Chief Sloan Rowland

Following Chief Rowland's retirement, Assistant Chief Brian Lewis will serve as interim Police Chief, and the City will initiate a search process to fill the position permanently.

The Joplin Police Department announced Monday Chief Sloan Rowland would retire later this year. KRPS's Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Chief Rowland started his career as an EMT for the Cherokee County, Kansas, ambulance service. In 1987, Chief began his law enforcement career as a patrolman for Galena, Kansas. He moved through the ranks to become the Police Chief for Galena in 1995.

During this time, Rowland continued his military service and had several deployments. After serving Galena, in July 1999, Rowland transitioned to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department, where he took the lead for all drug investigations.

In 2003 Rowland joined the Joplin Police Department as a Police Officer, was promoted to Corporal in 2005, Sergeant in 2007, Lieutenant in 2012, Assistant Chief in 2016, and finally, Police Chief in 2019.

In a press release City Manager Nick Edwards said quote, "Chief Rowland has done an exceptional job serving this community. He was the right person to serve during some of the most challenging times in law enforcement and within our own community." Sloan Rowland will retire on June 1, 2023, from the Joplin Police Department. For 89 9 KRPS, I'm Fred Fletcher-Fierro

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 krps.org to an NPR style news and information website.

In the fall of 2023 Fred was promoted to Interim General Manager and was appointed GM in Feburary of 2024.
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