JOPLIN, Mo. — A longtime Joplin Police Chief is set to retire.

Chief Sloan Rowland announced his retirement effective June 1st, 2023. The announcement comes after 35 years of services in various public safety positions – and 20 years in the Joplin community.

Chief Rowland’s career began as an EMT for Cherokee County, then he transitioned into law enforcement in 1987 as a patrolman for Galena, Kansas, where he became Police Chief seven years later. Rowland was also in the military at the time and continued to deploy during his time with the Galena Police Department.

After Galena, Chief Rowland served with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department, and later joined the Joplin Police Department in 2003. During his time at JPD, Rowland rose from officer to Corporal in 2005; to Sergeant in 2007; Lieutenant in 2012; Assistant Chief in 2016; and eventually Police Chief in 2019.

City Manager Edwards noted Rowland’s role in leading the response against Joplin’s recent cyber attack, along with other significant moments while with the department.

“Chief led us through heartbreak and grief despite having his own when we lost Corporal Cooper and Officer Reed. He helped navigate us to having the City’s first collective bargaining agreement and has worked tirelessly in efforts to improve pay and staffing for the Police Department.  As Chief, and with Council’s leadership and support, together we were able to improve Police Department pay by nearly 25% over the last four years and also address some staffing levels through action plans and proposition action,” said Edwards.

After Chief Rowland’s retirement, Assistant Chief Brian Lewis will step in as interim Police Chief as the city begins it’s search to find a permanent replacement.