Jefferson City Council to consider pay raises for police and city staff

The Jefferson City Council will consider two bills on Monday that increase the salaries of police officers and city staff.

The police officer pay increase would be considered part of a labor agreement between the city and the Fraternal Order of Police, Missouri, Lodge No. 19 (FOP).

In a memo to council members, city administrator Steve Crowell said council ordered city staff to negotiate with the FOP after the public safety sales tax was approved in November. .

“In order to provide sufficient opportunity for sales tax to begin accumulating, the proposed effective date of the agreement is July 10,” Crowell wrote. “The projected annual revenue generated by the public safety sales tax is approximately $2.8 million per year.”

Crowell said city staff estimate tax revenue will grow about 2% per year.

“The projected aggregate cost of the FOP compensation plan for fiscal year 2022, on an annual basis, is approximately $1,160,035, which will be funded by sales tax,” Crowell wrote.

A police officer’s starting salary would increase from $41,975 to $46,000. This does not include benefits.

City staff said passing the proposed agreement, which is for three years, includes remaining funding available for negotiations with International Association of Fire Fighters Local 671, as well as funding for the purchase of public safety equipment. and improving facilities on an annual basis.

The council will also discuss a bill on Monday that would allow a 5% pay raise for all city employees except FOP police members and the city administrator.

“As the City Council is aware, inflationary impacts and competition for employees (i.e. wage increases) by public and private sector employers impact the City’s ability to retain and to recruit employees, especially in safety-critical functions,” Crowell wrote in a memo to council members. “The proposed salary adjustment would implement a raise for full-time employees and part-time employees with benefits. »

Crowell said it would cost $488,842 to implement the plan for the remainder of the city’s current fiscal year. On an annual basis, this would cost the city $1,146,087, based on FY22 costs.

In other matters, the council will consider a resolution allowing the city to apply for a grant from the Federal Bureau of Justice to support the Jefferson City Police Department’s plan to implement a body camera program for officers. If awarded, the grant would provide up to $180,000.

According to a memo from Police Chief Roger Schroeder to the council, they are looking to get 90 cameras so that every officer in the department has one.

“The Jefferson City Police Department will effectively utilize community partnerships to ensure the success of this initiative,” Schroeder wrote. “This includes the Cole County Attorney’s Office, City Attorney’s Office, and Public Defender’s Office. Most importantly, it will also include a strong partnership with a variety of community and neighborhood organizations.”

Schroeder went on to say, “Successful implementation of the program will benefit the police department, the courts and the community by providing audio and visual recording of incidents that capture evidence of a crime, accurate reporting of interactive incidents between police and the public, promoting transparency, and continuing efforts to deepen police-community relations.”

The program is budgeted at $661,643, which includes 39 on-board cameras and all other related equipment.

If they are successful in obtaining the federal grant of $180,000, the remaining $481,643 would be paid from the quarter-cent public safety tax.