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The Lake News Online
  • Lake Ozark agrees to keep outgoing police chief until hire is made

  • To a round of applause from board members and the audience, the Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen unanimously agreed to a short-term, verbal agreement to keep Police Chief Mark Maples on staff until a replacement can be found.
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  • To a round of applause from board members and the audience, the Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen unanimously agreed to a short-term, verbal agreement to keep Police Chief Mark Maples on staff until a replacement can be found.
    Maples’ submitted his resignation last month effective July 18, but has offered to remain on board in a part-time capacity for $500 a month.
    “There are a lot of things I do on a daily basis, a weekly basis and a monthly basis that continually need to be done,” he told the board Tuesday night.
    Maples will be in the area four days a week and will be available to the Lake Ozark staff as needed. He has taken a security position with a major St. Louis-based company.
    “If there are issues that need to be addressed, we’ll address them,” he said. “I care about these people in the police department, and I want to make sure we give them the support that they need.”
    Maples said he still owns two properties in Lake Ozark and is vested in the community.
    “I don’t want to see it take a step backwards,” he said of the department and community.
    Mayor Johnnie Franzeskos, City Administrator Dave Van Dee and Alderman Larry Buschjost met with Maples recently to discuss a game plan “for what happens after my final day.”
    The interview and hiring process is lengthy, Maples said, and securing a qualified candidate before the next major Lake Ozark event ― BikeFest in mid-September ― could be a challenge. He said the current group of LOPD officers is “very young” and there are no officers “ready to step up to the responsibility.”
    Maples said he wants to provide the next chief with a smooth transition.
    “When I came on, there was no field training,” he said. “It was like here’s keys, here’s where you’re going to work and good luck. I think it would be very nice and appropriate when we bring our next chief on we show him and give him some guidance.”
    He suggested giving a new chief a tour of the community, introduce him to business and community leaders and explain the day-to-day operation of the LOPD.
    Mutual aid
    Aldermen tabled an ordinance that would have established a mutual aid agreement with Miller County for law enforcement and public safety services.
    On a 3-1 vote, the board decided to wait until the next meeting (July 22) so a full board could consider the issue. Voting to table were Aldermen Gerry Murawski, Pat Thompson and Larry Buschjost. Betsey Browning voted against tabling the discussion.
    Page 2 of 2 - Police Chief Maples said there is a jurisdictional issue between the LOPD and Miller County Sheriff’s Department. The Lake Ozark city limits stops at Bagnell Dam, and any incidents beyond there or in Lakeside must go through the Sheriff’s Department first. The LOPD cannot respond to an accident on Bagnell Dam without contact from the MCSD first.
    A mutual aid agreement would be a step in the right direction, Maples and attorney Roger Gibbons said, but it would not give the LOPD carte blanche to cover emergencies outside the city limits without MCSD approval.
    LOFPD agreement
    Aldermen approved an agreement between the Lake Ozark Fire Protection District and the city of Lake Ozark for plan review and building inspection services.
    The city’s assistant community development director resigned recently leaving no one on staff qualified to undertake plan review and inspections services. Van Dee said the LOFPD would take an active role in working with property owners in building improvement, expansion and/or construction followed by plan review and inspections.
    The agreement is only in place until the city finds a qualified replacement.

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