St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is backing a tax increase to pay for more police officers.

Stenger has asked the St. Louis County Council to put a measure on the April 4, 2017 ballot that would raise the sales tax by a half cent. If passed, about $80 million would be generated annually, with $46 million going to the county.

If the plan is approved, each municipality in St. Louis County would split the remaining $34 million raised by the tax each year.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said if it is approved, the money will allow them to hire more officers, increase police salaries, expand officer training on peaceful conflict resolution, purchase body cameras and install dashboard cameras. He also said he fully supports the proposal because it would improve public safety and allow officers to do their jobs safely.

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