ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – All members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted in favor requiring police officers to pay the city back for training, if the officers leave within two years of graduating from the police academy.
Board Bill 195 states that officers will be required to pay the city up to almost $37,000, the cost of the six-month academy, if the officers leave within two of the required 4-year obligation.
“Some officers feel bothered when they see other officers that have left and say why they get to leave and I don’t,” said bill sponsor Brandon Bosley, Alderman of Ward 3. “It’s been on the books for some time, it’s just has not been enforced. This is just a way to enforce it.”
News 4 asked Bosley if signed, will this ordinance deter potential officers from joining the department and lead to the city using taxpayers dollars to sue officers who breach the contract.
“The last thing we want to do is make them feel even more restricted,” he said. “I don’t believe in–just like going after them and doing everything we can–spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. I don’t think that’s going to be the thing that officers will weigh–the decisions that they’re making when they enter the force.”
Neighboring St. Louis County told News 4 it doesn’t have similar laws on the books. Pay has been one reason the city has issues attracting and retaining officers. St. Louis County PD starts officers out at $54,000 a year. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department starting salary is $48,000.
Alderman Bosley said city officers got an increase within in the last four years, but the city is working to add incentives.
“I do believe in pay raises for officers,” Bosley said.
The bill needs to be signed off by the mayor. The Mayor’s Office told News 4 the mayor supports the bill.
The St. Louis Police Officers Association told News 4 the “union has reservations about the legislation but said they’d rather express those directly with Ald. Bosley.”
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