Mayor Tishaura O. Jones Signs Bill Making St. Louis More Competitive in Police Officer Retention While Protecting City Tax Dollars
Board Bill 195 requires police officers who leave SLMPD within four years of completing their training to compensate the city for said training.
Mayor Tishaura O. Jones has signed Board Bill 195 into law, requiring police officers who leave the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department within four years of completing their training to compensate the city for said training. The ordinance modernizes the city’s regulations and closes loopholes that were created after the move to local control. Board Bill 195, passed unanimously at the Board of Aldermen, will protect city and police resources.
“St. Louisans want to know that when their tax dollars and our city’s academy are used to train police officers that they will stay to serve our city, not go elsewhere,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “Other cities try to recruit officers trained at our academy; if surrounding municipalities want to take advantage of St. Louis’ academy and resources, they’ll have to pay for it.”
“It is important for us to work to retain the officers we have on hand, while incentivizing the great work that they do to encourage other individuals to step up and do such a thankless job,” said Board Bill 195 sponsor Alderman Brandon Bosley (3).
When new recruits enter the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Academy, the City covers the bill, costing the City nearly $37,000 per trainee. Under the ordinance, academy graduates who leave the force for another municipality within four years of their obligation to St. Louis will be required to reimburse taxpayers for their time at the academy. Retaining officers trained in the City ensures that the officers on our streets have the training our communities need.
“The police training offered in the City of St. Louis should benefit St. Louis, not other municipalities looking to hire officers from our academy,” said Ethical Society of Police President Sgt. Donnell Walters. “This law will help prevent other departments in our area from taking advantage of our city’s resources.”
Mayor Jones is working to address root causes of crime and deploy the right professionals to the right call, enabling police to do what they were trained to do, respond to violent crime. Initial analysis of alternative programs like 911 call diversion and Cops & Clinicians found such programs saved significant police work hours, connected residents to services, and reduced contact with the incarceration system.