Supporters, opponents of Prop P speak out 1 week before the vote -

Supporters, opponents of Prop P speak out 1 week before the vote

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Supports of Prop P in Clayton. Credit: KMOV Supports of Prop P in Clayton. Credit: KMOV

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger and Police Chief Jon Belmar have taken the lead in trying to convince voters to support Proposition P on the April 4 ballot.

On Tuesday the St. Louis County Police Association announced it's full support for the tax proposal. 

"We must address the obligation to protect our officers by providing them with the resources and vital equipment that they need to do their jobs, jobs they must do safely and effectively," said Police Association president Det. Joe Patterson.

The proposed half-cent sales tax is expected to generate $80 million a year, with $46 million going to St. Louis County and the remainder being divided up among other municipalities in the county, based on population. 

St. Louis County said it would spend money to hire more officers, increase pay, increase training and put two officers in some patrol cars. Supporters say having two officers to a car will reduce the number of officer-involved shootings and make police safer.

Barbara O'Connor of the St. Louis Area Police Wives Association said, "We can help keep our officers safe by pairing them up in two-man cars. Let's take care of those who take care of us by supporting this proposition."

St. Louis County said it would also use some of the money to address concerns raised by some in the community. 

"There's been a huge outcry as far as transparency with the police department. So one of the things that Proposition P will provide is body cams for the St Louis County police department, both body and dash cams for the police vehicles," said Lt. Col. Troy Doyle, president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. 

According to the wording of the proposition, the tax would provide funds to improve police and public safety. But critics say there's no accountability over how the municipalities spend their share of the money on public safety. 

An organization named "No Mo Sales Tax" has come out in opposition to the tax proposal. Lloyd Sloan, who is with the organization, told News 4 that the tax increase will hurt the poor.

"Poor people tend to spend a lot more of their income on taxable sales tax items than do the wealthy," said Sloan.

The tax proposal only needs a simple majority to pass.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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