County Council votes 6-0 to approve Proposition P raises for county police


Photo by Gloria Lloyd

Officers and sergeants from the St. Louis County Police Department applaud as fellow officer and union representative Derek Machens calls for raises at an Oct. 12, 2017, hearing at the County Council.

The County Council voted last week to grant final approval to Proposition P raises for police officers, after weeks of contentious meetings in which officers came to meeting after meeting to ask for the raises that voters approved earlier this year.
But that was all a misunderstanding be-cause of a desire to review how the salary increases could affect pensions, council Chairman Sam Page, D-Creve Coeur, said after the Oct. 31 council meeting.
“I think everyone understood after a unanimous vote for the pay increase by the County Council at the last meeting that there was never any disagreement about giving the police a large pay raise,” Page said. “And somehow that message got out to the police officers.
“I don’t know, but regardless, I think everyone understands that we were all in support of a large increase in police pay.”
The council approved the raises unanimously 6-0, with 6th District Councilman Ernie Trakas, R-Oakville, absent.
He told the Call he would have voted for the raises if he had been at the meeting. Trakas was also not at the Oct. 17 meeting where the council unanimously voted to perfect the raises.
Applause broke out among officers after the vote, and County Executive Steve Stenger said that as he walked out, officers told him how happy they were.
“I’m extremely happy, extremely pleased it received unanimous support,” Stenger said. “I think it could have been easier, should have been easier. Sam Page standing as an obstacle to the raises was not something that was necessary, but we got past it and I think our county is much better for it and our Police Department is much better for it.
“It’s going to allow us to retain and attract the best police officers we can.”