ST. LOUIS - Daunting numbers are coming from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department: they're losing two-to-three officers every two weeks, and it's impacting the safety of residents.
Wednesday night, 17 recruits graduated for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Academy.
Chief Sam Dotson was both proud and grateful to have the new probationary officers on the force. Dotson says the police department currently has 120 vacancies in addition to the 160 new officer positions he would like filled.
Dotson says offering a more competitive salary would help keep officers on board.
"We lose between 2 to 3 officers per pay period, that's every two weeks. They're leaving for higher paying jobs in the private sector. We're competing with Anheuser Busch, Monsanto, Enterprise, Emerson," he said.
Dotson said adding 160 officers to the department could cost about $9-million, but he's says it's worth the cost when it comes to improved safety. Dotson encouraged the community to be supportive of the brave men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line everyday to protect the public.
He said being a police officer is a noble job and one that he hopes more people will apply for in the upcoming days.