Chief Dotson, Board of Aldermen discuss how to pay for additiona - KMOV.com

Chief Dotson, Board of Aldermen discuss how to pay for additional officers

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – On Thursday, for the third time in six work days, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson will be in front of St. Louis City Aldermen discussing public safety.

During the last two meetings, the chief answered every question that was presented to him. The aldermen and chief made it clear that there is a need for more officers in the City of St. Louis because crime and homicides are up but the hang up is on how to pay for the officers.

“I hear consistently we need more police officers,” said Chief Dotson. “We're having the conversation and that's a positive step.”

Aldermen Donna Barringer came up with four ways to pay for 160 new officers in the city. She suggested taking revenue from red light cameras, a bill about car license tax increases, a bill about public garage tax increases and, the most controversial one, a bill establishing crime reduction and a professional policing fund.

While the aldermen have not agreed on how to fund the new officers, the chief promises the officers will be uniformed riding throughout neighborhoods.

“The plan is to put the vast, vast, vast majority, 90 percent, in blue shirts, riding around in police cars, riding in our neighborhoods,” Chief Dotson said. “I need the ability to do things like hot-spot policing, to go to where problems are.”

The plan to add more officers to the City of St. Louis was first presented in October but aldermen are trying to come up with a way to pay for them now because they want to present it to voters in the August election. To have it on the August ballot, the plan must be put together by May 26.

Since the additional officers were first discussed, there have been 101 people murdered throughout the city.

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