Joplin Police Chief Lane Roberts, pictured, announces his intention to retire from the Joplin Police Department effective March 28, 2014. Chief Roberts began his career in law enforcement in 1971 and began working with the Joplin Police Department in April 2007. Chief Roberts is the fourth longest serving chief in JPD’s history.
In the past seven years, the department’s sworn staff has increased from 78 to 111 police officers. All of the provisions of the public safety sales tax have been implemented. The JPD South Station is open and provides convenient services for south Joplin residents. The jail has been expanded from 42 beds to 60 beds and operates much more efficiently than it did seven years ago. The police department has become accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and is currently preparing for its third on-site CALEA accreditation process. Total crime has been reduced by 27%; violent crime has decreased by 15%; and traffic crashes have declined by 21%. The Public Safety Training Center is operating in its temporary facility and the project to build the new permanent facility has been initiated.
Perhaps, the most noteworthy accomplishment of the Joplin Police Department’s performance during his tenure was the response during the tornado in 2011. Chief Roberts states, “I don’t know that I have ever been prouder to be associated with a community than I was with Joplin during that event and the recovery that followed and continues to this day.”
The Joplin Police Department wants to thank Chief Roberts and his family for his service to the police department as well as the community. We wish him well in his endeavors and he will be greatly missed.
Editor's note: The longest serving marshals or chiefs in Joplin history include: L. Cass Hamilton (1876-1886), Guy Harrington (1928-1934), Roy E. Isgrigg (1952-62), Adrian Lacy Meacham (1965-1972) and Larry D. Tennis (1977-1986). The police chiefs are Hamilton, Isgrigg and Tennis.