St. Louis County officials want tax hike to upgrade police gear - KMOV.com

St. Louis County officials want tax hike to upgrade police gear

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) – St. Louis County officials will announce their plan for Proposition P Wednesday.

County Executive Steve Stenger and Police Chief Jon Belmar will be at the Police Communications Center Wednesday morning to outline the proposition, which is a sales tax that voters will decide on in April.

Stenger told News 4 the half-cent sales tax would bring in $80 million to be dedicated to public safety and police. The money would help upgrade very basic gear, such as ballistic vests, would help place two officers in every patrol car and fund major investments, including body and dash cams.

“One of the things that we want to do is partake in more community policing. With two officers in a vehicle, that’s really the model for that,” said Stenger. “It allows officers to actually engage the community, get to know the community.”

Because the initiative is so costly, the proposition will also lean on taxpayers outside of the county.

“A sales tax hike has its advantages, and one is the people who travel through our county help pay for the force that is keeping them safe while they are here,” Stenger said.

Stenger said if voters say “no” to the proposition the money simply is not in the budget to make the changes.

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