1 min read
Posted on 09.20.06
  • 1 min read
  • Posted on 09.20.06

Making City neighborhoods safer is one of our most important — and expensive — civic tasks.

Later this fiscal year, the City will add more than 40 police officers to crack down on violent crime, nuisance crimes, and problem properties — three very definitely related sorts of bad behavior.

We are also creating a Most Violent Offenders unit in the Circuit Attorney’s office to handle the caseload the beefed up Police Department will generate.

Beyond funding a larger patrol division and more prosecutors, we face another challenge.

A new study done by Chief Joe Mokwa shows that police pay in St. Louis has fallen behind police departments in the suburbs — a situation that requires an immediate remedy. The Police Board today took a step in the right direction by approving a 3 percent raise for officers.

Our police officers deserve the raise.

We are in the middle of an outside staffing study to identify redundancies and unneeded management jobs in other parts of City government. Our goal is to reduce spending by at least $4 million, without impacting City services. That reduction, and a growing tax base, will have to fund substantially increased pension and health care costs throughout City government, as well as increases in the public safety budget.