Nick Edwards, the City Manager for the City of Joplin, speaks at a campaign kick-off event for “Proposition Public Safety.”

JOPLIN, Mo. — A campaign for public safety funding kicked off today (7/7) at the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.

The campaign is called Proposition Public Safety, and aims to educate Joplin voters about a question on the August 2nd ballot, which asks voters to approve a property tax of one dollar per $100 dollars of assessed value for real estate and personal property.

If the proposition is passed, it would allow more funding for the Joplin Police and Fire Departments.

It would also provide the funds to hire public safety support staff and increase the number of 911 dispatchers.

At today’s campaign kick off, a number of representatives provided information on the ballot issue.

Proposition Public Safety is currently the only plan the city has to better recruit and retain first responders.

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“Unfortunately, currently there is no plan “B.” If this tax doesn’t pass, it will get worse because we do know officers will be leaving, we know firefighters will be leaving, so whatever state the city is in now, it’s going to continue to decline,” said Shelby Howard, President of the Joplin Fraternal Order of Police.

“It is a lot of money, but like I said, we’re in a crisis. If this doesn’t pass, the problem doesn’t go away. The problem will be amplified even more if this is not passed on August 2nd,” said Jeremie Humphrey, President of the Joplin Professional Fighters Local 59.

City Manager, Nick Edwards, who spoke at today’s event, said Joplin currently has one of the lowest personal property tax rates in the state.