St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger today announced agreement on a new pay matrix for St. Louis County Police, representing the first step taken as a result of the passage of Proposition P. In April, County voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition P, a half-cent sales tax with proceeds earmarked for public safety in St. Louis County and County municipalities. The County’s portion of the tax is being used for several initiatives including:
· Hiring more police officers,
· Improving police pay,
· Mobilizing more two-officer cars, and
· Improving technology, including adding body cameras and dashboard cameras
“The first steps have been taken to fulfill these promises,” St. Louis County Executive Stenger said. The County and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) have agreed on a pay matrix that includes a pay raise for St. Louis County Police Officers.
“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.”
Under the new matrix, starting salaries increase eight percent from the current level and the rest of the matrix builds on that. This means the annual pay range for St. Louis County Police officers will be $52,000 for new officers to $77,000 for officers with 15 years’ experience.
The County will begin collecting revenues from Prop P later this year and the new pay matrix will go into effect January 1, 2018 pending approval by the County Council.
“I want to thank County Executive Stenger for his leadership on this issue and the County Council in advance for its favorable action on this pay matrix,’ Joe Patterson, President of the FOP said. “This new pay matrix means that officers can once again build a career in policing and be rewarded for their experience and professional development.”
The pay increase will help St. Louis County reach its goal of adding more manpower.
“Our plan is to hire 110 new officers,” County Police Chief Jon 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.”
County Executive Stenger said that there will be more announcements as steps are taken in each of the areas identified in the Proposition P initiative. “We are currently proceeding with plans for all the measures identified for use by Prop P funds,” Stenger said. “We will be ready for implementation when that money becomes available so that St. Louis County will immediately benefit from the stronger law enforcement made possible by Prop P.
Watch the video of the press conference here.