ST. LOUIS — St. Louis' primary business group on Thursday applauded a proposal by the city's comptroller that calls for increasing police pay.
"Strengthening public safety in St. Louis is a critical issue for the entire metro’s economic competitiveness," said Greater St. Louis Inc. CEO Jason Hall. The organization earlier this month called on the city of St. Louis to invest more in things it says will make downtown safer, including additional cameras, upgrades to street lighting and traffic calming measures on key thoroughfares.
St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green on Wednesday introduced a plan to raise pay for city police and offer incentives, such as tax breaks and down payment assistance on homes, to attract and retain more officers. The Board of Estimate and Apportionment, on which Green, Mayor Tishaura Jones and Aldermanic President Joe Vollmer sit, took no official action on the plan Wednesday. Green didn't say how much it could cost.
"Comptroller Green has raised the need to take new steps to address public safety in St. Louis, including compensation disparities and creative incentives to attract new public safety employees," Hall said. "We applaud her for bringing specific ideas forward to ensure this issue remains front and center."
Jones told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Wednesday that Green's plan had "interesting ideas," but said the city already approved a pay raise and $2,000 retention incentive for city employees earlier this year, plus pointed to legislation she signed that required city officers to repay their training costs if they leave within four years to work elsewhere.
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