ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) – The first action taken as a result of Proposition P is a new pay matrix for St. Louis County Police.
County Executive Steve Stenger announced on Thursday the county’s portion of Proposition P, a half-cent sales tax with proceeds for St. Louis City and County that was approved by voters in April, will be used for several initiatives. Those initiatives include: Hiring more officers, improving police pay, mobilizing more two-officer cars and improving technology, including adding body cameras and dashboard cameras.
“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,” Stenger said. “Our new pay scale helps ensure we will be able to attract and retain the best and the brightest new and experienced officers.”
Many county officers grateful to see Prop P move forward and to officially know a raise is coming their way. "As a police officer of 31 years, I can't tell you how big a deal this is to have these police officers finally compensated in a manner of which they should," said County Police Chief Jon Belmar.
The new matrix means there will be an 8 percent increase in starting salaries, meaning the annual pay range will be $52,000 for new officers to $77,000 for officers with 15 years’ experience. Stenger says this will make pay more competitive than it is current. "Officers with 7-8 years of experience were making close to what officers with 1-2 years of experience were receiving."
“Our plan is to hire 110 new officers,” 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.”
The new pay matrix will go into effect on January 1, 2018. The county will begin collecting the revenue from Proposition P later in 2017.
"We're going to need a strong police force that is well paid because we're going to want to retain the very best as they interact with our community," said Stenger.
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