St. Louis officer shortage surpasses 300 as top cop hauls in $275k

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ST. LOUIS – As St. Louis cops quit, a new report reveals the police chief’s salary is the highest among law enforcement in the metro area.

According to a St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) spokesman, there are 312 vacancies out of the department’s 1,224 commissioned positions.

St. Louis Police Officers’ Association Business Manager Joe Steiger blames red tape across the city’s government for getting new officers hired.

“We have applicants that come in here, and it takes so long for them to go through the process and get over to the police department that they are being picked off by other departments in the meantime,” he said.

Steiger said the gap will only grow as a large chunk of officers is eligible to retire in the next year or two. He said it’s time for St. Louis to step up its recruiting game.

“I had a conversation with the chief last week about this,” he said. “I know he has some ideas to try and do some new recruiting efforts.”

According to a report on Tuesday from our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SLMPD Police Chief Robert Tracy receives a yearly salary of $275,000, with $100,000 from the St. Louis Police Foundation.

The FOX Files found there are 961 total commissioned St. Louis County Police Department officers, with 130 vacancies. The Post-Dispatch reports Chief Kenneth Gregory makes more than $180,000.

Back in St. Louis, the starting salary for officers increased and there’s been a negotiated raise in place.

Sgt. Charles Wall, SLMPD spokesman, wrote Tuesday that the department is actively hiring officers.

“Earlier this year, the City of St. Louis amended the pay ordinance and now officers with a valid Missouri POST license can start with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department at the same rate of pay as a current officer with credit given for their years of service at another law enforcement agency (up to 15 years),” Wall wrote.


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