Officer Jaden Galardo and his wife, Kayla.

Pinning ceremonies typically draw a large audience.

Mikaiela Allison pins Officer Malicah Hensley.

Officer Adam Morris is pinned by his mother, Lisa Taylor.

Garritt Pearish wanted his grandmother, Jennifer Pearish, to pin him.

Four new officers join Webb City Police force

Bob Foos

Four Webb City Police officers were pinned and sworn in on Monday during the regular City Council meeting.

With the latest hirings and two in the field-training period, Police Chief Don Melton said his department now has only two openings.

He oversaw the badge-pinning ceremonies of:

Garritt Pearish #429

I was born in Webb City and attended WC schools K-12 (2018 graduate). While in school I played football and wrestled. In senior year I interned with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office and later was hired as a full-time detention officer in 2018. I was in the JCSO jail for just shy of three years. I was then hired at the Joplin Police Department as a police officer. While at JPD I received Officer of the month recognition and recognition from the State of Missouri for my work in DWI enforcement (100 arrests in 2022). I also furthered my training every possible chance I had.

In March of 2023 I was hired by WCPD and continued to pursue DWI enforcement. I was recently appointed to the SRT team as well.

I will be pinned by my grandmother, Jennifer “Momo” Pearish, who helped raise me and taught me right from wrong. She and my grandfather guided me to be the person I am today, and I will forever be grateful for that.

Adam Morris #427

Adam graduated from Webb City High School in 2020 and pursued his degree at Missouri Southern State University. He attended the 155th Law Enforcement Academy at MSSU.

Adam is the inaugural recipient of the Jake Reed Memorial Scholarship for Law Enforcement Officers. Reed was a JPD officer killed in the line of duty in March 2022.

Adam says he is looking forward to serving his community and the future of Webb City.

He was pinned by his mother, Lisa Taylor.

Jaden Galardo #436

Jaden Galardo was born in 2000 in Joplin, and grew up in Webb City with his two sisters and brother. He graduated from Webb City High School in 2018 and served in the United States Marine Corps from January 2019 until January 2023.

While in the Marine Corps, he was stationed in California at Camp Pendleton. He was with the 9th Communications Battalion for six months and then got orders to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. While at 3/1, he deployed to the Middle East for seven months in 2020 to 2021. He achieved the rank of corporal and was awarded four medals and one ribbon: the National Defense Service Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

While in California, he met his wife of three years, Kayla Galardo. They had their first son, Lancin, in April of 2021. After the Marine Corps, they moved back to Webb City, where they had their second son, Coleson in March, while Jaden was attending the Law Enforcement Academy at MSSU.

Jaden says he is excited to serve the community he grew up in and would like to thank all of his family and friends for attending the ceremony and helping him achieve his childhood dream of becoming a police officer.

He would also like to give a big thank you to his wife and two boys for always supporting him and sticking by his side. “I couldn’t have done it without you guys.” He was pinned by his wife, Kayla.

Malicah Hensley #439

Malicah Hensley, 22, graduated from Joplin High school in 2020. From there he joined the Carterville Fire Department to pursue his dream in becoming a firefighter. As a volunteer, he earned certifications in search and rescue, and  water rescue, and he obtained his Emergency Medical Responder Certification through the fire department.

He joined the Carterville Public Works Department in 2021, under Director Carze Brown, who was present for the ceremony.

In 2022, he gained interest in joining law enforcement, with support from his family and the fire department. He resigned from the fire department in order to attend the Missouri Southern State University Law Enforcement Academy. He was juggling a job and going to school at night to achieve his goal.

In January, Hensley says he was contacted by Melton about a job opportunity in Webb City. He took the offer, graduated from the academy on May 11 and started with Webb City on May 15.

“I would like to thank all my co-workers and FTO (field training officer) sergeants and corporals for pushing me to make myself better and to be a better officer. I would also like to thank my family and friends for pushing me to be an amazing police officer and being there as my supporters while I grow in my career.

“Thank you, Chief Melton, for this amazing opportunity and thank you Webb City for giving me the chance to grow and to help the citizens. Thank you.”

He was pinned by his girlfriend, Mikaiela Allison.

Cardinal Valley Habitat management agreement renewed

The council approved by resolution a memorandium of understanding with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to continue restoring the Cardinal Valley Natural Habitat.

John Nichols, who was one of the trustees establishing the habitat, told the council this project was a favorite of his while he was with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Nichols is taking over management of the habitat from Randy Haas, who is retiring.

The habitat property currently includes 889 acres.

The new agreement states that U.S. Fish and Wildlife and other trustees intend to fund restoration activities for the next 25 years in five-year increments.

Webb City will be required to pay half of the habitat manager’s salary.

Francis clarified for the council that use of the habitat will forever be limited to conservation.

In other action, the council:

• Completed approval of ordinances annexing 38.7 acres between Stadium View subdivision and the sewage treatment plant on the west side of North Madison Street and rezoning it as R-1 (single-family residential).

• Allowed the police department to accept a $6,700 Show Me Zero Safer Roadways grant to purchase four dual antenna radar units.