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Law enforcement, friends, family and community come together one year later to remember CPL. Cooper and OFC. Reed

Joplin Police Chief Sloan Rowland speaking at the service
Joplin Police Chief Sloan Rowland speaking at the service

Overall, crime determined by 911 calls to Joplin Police was down 4.4% from 2021 to 2022. Although assaults on police officers nearly doubled from 16 in 2021 to 31 cases last year.

Friends, family, and law enforcement personnel traveled to the Public Safety Training facility in Webb City, (MO) Wednesday to remember two fallen Joplin police officers. KRPS's Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Joplin police officers Corporal Ben Cooper and Officer Jake Reed were shot after responding to a disturbance call at a shopping center in the 400 block of Geneva Avenue at about 1:20 pm March 8, 2022. While they attempted to take a subject into custody, the man opened fire on them, critically wounding both.

The suspect then stole one of their service weapons and a patrol car. He continued firing at pursuing officers until crashing near the intersection of E 9th Street and Connecticut Avenue. Cooper died later that day. Officer Reed died a few days later. Patrol Captain Trevor Duncan shared these thoughts Wednesday about Cooper.

"When Ben's wife Roxy asked me to speak about Ben at today's ceremony, I struggled, and I told her that most of the stories that I have about Ben Cooper are hard to package for public consumption. Everyone who knew Ben, especially at work, knows exactly what I mean. We was fun to poke at, and he would poke back. But when it came time for business, he was always yes sir, no sir."

Flags at City of Joplin facilities are being flown at half-staff until March 15 in honor of Cooper and Reed.

An additional memorial will be held at the Public Safety Training Facility this Saturday to remember and mark Jake Reed Day in Joplin on March 11. It's open to the public and will be streamed on Joplin's PD's Facebook page.For 89 9 KRPS News, 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 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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