Seven candidates seek election to the Johnson County Emergency Services Board of Trustees, which has four upcoming open seats.
Andrew Munsterman, Paul Polychronis and Troy Armstrong seek election and James D. Bell seeks reelection to two Emergency Services — East Division Board of Trustees seats, each a four-year term.
Joshua Teaney, David Miller and Darlene Buckstead seek election to two Emergency Services Board — West Division Board of Trustees seats, each a four-year term.
Emergency Services Board — East Division
Armstrong has been a resident of Johnson County since July 2017.
Armstrong said his entire adult life has been emergency services-oriented, starting at the age of 14 when he became an explorer with his local fire department; and obtaining his Emergency Medical Technician certification at age 17. His first full-time position was as an E-911 telecommunicator for a one-person Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in Shenandoah, Iowa. Since that time, he has held various roles and obtained multiple public safety certifications in law enforcement, fire suppression, rescue services, emergency medical services and emergency management.
Armstrong currently serves the community as the Emergency Management director for Johnson County; along with providing service as a paramedic, firefighter and deputy coroner. Armstrong is also the deputy commander of the Rural Region A Incident Support Team (IST), vice chairperson of the Rural Region A Regional Homeland Security Oversight Committee (RHSOC) and serves as a member of the Missouri-1 DMAT/DMORT teams.
He also serves as a volunteer firefighter with his local fire department; along with serving on the Johnson County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and Johnson County Healthcare Coalition. Armstrong is also the interim president of the Missouri Emergency Management Association (MOEMA).
“I’ve filed for candidacy due to the fact that I feel my educational and employment background provided me with an all-hazards understanding as to the types of situations that Johnson County Central Dispatch face on a daily basis and understand the support needed from the board,” Armstrong said. “Also, in my role as the county’s Emergency Management director, I’m familiar with the need to be fiscally responsible, yet ensure the safety of the community through the operations of the organization.”
Armstrong said he believes the Emergency Services Board has a need for individuals who understand the complexity and importance of communications for not only the 911 system, but radio systems for those user agencies in the field, along with supporting and allowing administration to conduct the daily operations of the center. He believes the needs of the Board include review of the current communications systems, both 911 and radio, along with the development of a long-term plan for any upgrades or updates in both systems.
Munsterman has lived in Johnson County for approximately 23 years.
Munsterman completed an internship at Worlds of Fun approximately 21 years ago as a security ranger. He completed the University of Central Missouri Police Academy in 1998 and was hired by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy. Munsterman worked for the Sheriff’s Office as a deputy jailor and assisted with riding along on the road patrol. He was selected to the Johnson County/Warrensburg SWAT team for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department. In 2000, he was selected by the Warrensburg Police Department as a patrol officer. After a short time, Munsterman was selected as a SWAT team member to represent Warrensburg. After approximately three years, he was selected to work undercover narcotics for the West Central Drug Task Force. After approximately two and half years, Munsterman was promoted to the position of corporal and went back to the Patrol Bureau as a supervisor underneath a sergeant on day shift. After approximately two years working in the Patrol Bureau, a narcotics detective position opened up in the Investigations Bureau for the Warrensburg Police Department. Munsterman was able to obtain the position as a narcotics detective/evidence custodian for the Warrensburg Police Department for approximately 10 years. During this time, he became the Warrensburg SWAT team leader. In 2015, he was promoted to lieutenant over the Patrol Bureau. In 2018, Munsterman was transferred back to the Investigations Bureau as the lieutenant over the Bureau and oversees the SWAT team for Warrensburg.
Munsterman is a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He is also currently coaching a community center 10U basketball team and a 12U basketball team and has been an assistant baseball coach for approximately four years. Munsterman added that his wife is a teacher and he assists her with some school activities and is also trying to raise two children to be honest, polite and hard working men.
“I want to make sure that our Police Department’s, Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department’s and all emergency personnel through Johnson County are receiving the highest quality radio communications possible to better serve the citizens of Johnson County,” Munsterman said. “The radio communications is the lifeline to all emergency services members.”
Munsterman said the EMS Board has to look and start planning for the future. He said he has personally been in contact with the director of Central Communications reference radio issues the Warrensburg Police Department has throughout the City of Warrensburg. Munsterman said they have met with contractors to see what a quick fix would be and what the long term fix needs to be and is still waiting to receive both of the quotes. He also said the board needs to help steer the director into the future for all emergency personnel.
“If I am elected to the board, it will give the board another perspective for the needs of all emergency services personnel,” Munsterman said.
Polychronis has lived in the county for 32 years.
He said he is a board-certified psychologist who has relied on law enforcement, the ambulance district, and emergency services throughout his career.
Polychronis also serves on the Johnson County Crisis Intervention Team Council and on the Missouri Eating Disorders Council. Additionally, he is a member of Rotary International and attends the Warrensburg Noon Rotary Club.
Polychronis said he is running to help Johnson County Emergency Services maintain a responsive 911 system to protect the safety of citizens.
Polychronis said Johnson County EMS faces the recurring challenge of needing to upgrade its technology to stay current with standards in the field, which he said requires long range planning and careful budget management.
“Making matters more difficult, technology upgrades must be implemented while the 911 center functions around the clock,” Polychronis said. “This is like working on a car while it is speeding down a highway.”
Did not respond to the Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal by press time.
Emergency Services Board — West Division
Teaney has lived in Johnson County for 10 years. Teaney’s previous experience includes working for a few years at Stahl’s, vocational ministry along with volunteering and dispatching for Johnson County Central Dispatch. Teaney is currently working part-time with Johnson County Ambulance District and full-time with Johnson County Fire Protection District as a captain. Teaney said he also volunteers at a local church helping both internally and externally and works for a few agencies that respond to assist the local community.
“Dispatch has grown a lot and I want to continue seeing it strive,” Teaney said. “I was a dispatcher for a short period of time and understand a little of what they go through, both the positives and negatives of the job and would like to assist the organization in its continual service to the community and their personnel.”
Teaney said the board needs to assist and come alongside the organization to serve the community by providing the public with the best service it can while staying within its financial means.
Miller has served on the Johnson County Emergency Services Board from 2006 to 2016 and is currently the district chief of JCFPD No. 2.
Miller said he feels it is important to have a strong board of men and women who want to help and support the 911 dispatch center.
Miller said he wants to be a part of the decision making process that will help the center grow towards the future.
“I feel that with my background in the fire service, I have a unique perspective of the emergency communications in Johnson County,” Miller said. “I think that with this, I can provide the support and knowledge needed in key decisions necessary for effective day-to-day and long term goals.”
Did not respond to the Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal by press time.