St. Louis County Council moves STL County Police pay raise initiative to final passage

An ordinance that would give St. Louis Police Department personnel a pay raise was approved Tuesday night and will now move along to final passage at the St. Louis County Council.

The St. Louis County Council moved the ordinance 6-0 to final passage after they passed a substitution bill that requires 15 percent of the Proposition P money to be set aside for pensions.

The initiative, originally introduced by County Executive Steve Stenger along with the County police union, would raise the income of the County police staff by 30 percent.

The raises would come from Proposition P tax with approximately $19 million of the tax money going towards the increase in salary for County police.

Proposition P is a half-cent sales tax that’s expected to generate $80 million a year for public safety. It was passed this April with sixty-three percent of St. Louis County voters voting in favor of the tax.

Matt Crecelius, business manager at the St. Louis County Police Association, said if this ordinance is finally passed, it would improve the quality of life for County police officers.

“It mostly means that we’ll be able to hire and retain the most qualified officers and for our current officers who have been here for five, ten, fifteen years,” Crecelius said. “Once (St. Louis County Council) finally passes it in two weeks and when it goes into effect in January, it’s life-changing.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Councilman Sam Page said he supported a raise for St. Louis County police officers but stated that it must be done properly.

“Being careful in how we spend Prop P money is just common sense. I support a big raise for police officers but we have to do it responsibly,” Page said. “The simple truth is that the administration has refused to answer straightforward questions about how the raises will impact the retirement system. Until those questions are answered, it is difficult to proceed with a big raise for police officers.”

The bill is expected to be called for final passage when the County Council comes back into session on Oct. 31.

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