First action taken as a result of Proposition P approval by voters
By TIM ROWDEN
Clayton, MO – St. Louis County Police officers will get an average 30 percent pay raise next year, and some as much as 40 percent, under a new wage scale announced last week by St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger and Joe Patterson, president of the St. Louis County Police Officers Association Lodge 111.
In addition to the pay raise for current officers, new officers will start at an eight percent higher base pay.
The new pay scale will range from $52,000 for new officers to $77,000 for officers with 15 years’ experience.
The raises represent the first step toward reaching the stated goals of Proposition P, a sales tax increase in St. Louis County that voters approved in April to fund hiring more police officers and boosting salaries.
“The first steps have been taken to fulfill these promises,” Stenger said. “Thanks to the voters of St. Louis County, we are able to offer our police salaries that make our department competitive with some of the largest suburban departments in the region. Our new pay scale helps ensure we will be able to attract and retain the best and the brightest new and experienced officers.”
The tax increase will generate $80 million a year, with $46 million going to the county and the remainder distributed to other police departments in the county.
In addition to boosting officers’ pay, Stenger said the county will use the revenue to
• Hire more police officers,
• Mobilize more two-officer cars, and
• Improve technology, including adding body cameras and dashboard cameras.
The County will begin collecting revenues from Prop. P later this year and the new pay scale will go into effect January 1, 2018, pending approval by the County Council.
“I want to thank County Executive Stenger for his leadership on this issue and the County Council in advance for its favorable action on this pay matrix,” said Patterson.
“This new pay structure means officers can once again build a career in policing and be rewarded for their experience and professional development.”
HIRING MORE OFFICERS
The pay increase will also help St. Louis County reach its goal of adding more manpower.
“Our plan is to hire 110 new officers,” St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said. “A new academy class has just started and will graduate in December. We will start our hiring efforts after we begin receiving the Prop. P revenue later this year.”
Stenger said there will be more announcements as additional elements of the initiative are rolled out.
“We are currently proceeding with plans for all the measures identified for use by Prop. P funds,” Stenger said. “We will be ready for implementation when that money becomes available.”