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Council Member Discussion Continues on New Justice Center, Location

The new justice center will increase workspace and allow the department to hire a new forensics investigator. Due to a lack of space JPD cannot currently hire this position. The new construction would also allow covered parking for the department's fleet of patrol cars. Allowing both the cars and officers to be protected from severe weather and helping protect the vehicles from sleet, ice and snow.

The Joplin City Council held an extra work session Monday night, in addition to their bi-weekly meetings. One of the two topics on the agenda, a new Justice Center. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Discussions continued last night regarding the redevelopment of the Joplin Police Department and courthouse near the intersection of 3rd Street and S. Pennsylvania.

The council was presented with seven options to choose from, they had to select their top three to discuss at future council meetings. The costs of the project range between 29.4 and 54 million dollars.

All of the plans call for constructing a new fire department either connected to the new Justice Center or across the street, south or east of the existing center. Council Member Josh DeTar shared his thoughts Monday night.

“I’m really concerned, I guess that’s my thought is. I mean, everybody is looking at these, to think about, that parking for Red Onion, I don’t know who else uses that parking spot.

People who are working in the courts or in the Justice Center. I don’t want to move that fire station over there. It takes away all the parking and the public parking spots.”

Option two, which would build a new fire station in what is currently the parking lot directly across the street from the current justice center, received the most votes from the city council with seven. Option 5 received six votes, and Option 7 received 5 votes.

No permanent decisions were made last night regarding the new Justice Center and discussions will continue.

Copyright 2023 Four States Public Radio. To see more, visit Four States Public Radio.

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.