ST. LOUIS (KMOX)- Thanks to a record $8 million increase in pension costs and a predicted 10 % hike in insurance premiums, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department will be facing a $3.8 million budget deficit in 2013.
However, Chief Dan Isom believes that gap can be filled without losing any additional officers off the streets, “We’ve been able to manage the budget, make the necessary cuts, and get the assistance from the city to make sure we fully support the police department. I would expect that to happen this year as well.”
The department is already going to lose 50 officers before the end of 2013, because of the expiration of the federally funded COPS program. Chief Dan Isom says he’ll hold the losses there by moving those 50 officers into positions opened up by retirements and other departures, “We hope that we will be able to absorb those additional 50 officers into our locally funded officers, meaning there will be no additional cost for those officers to the city of St. Louis”
Isom says that would leave the department operating at its full authorized force, “You would basically have 1,295 on the police department, probably a little bit lower than that, so we would be basically at the locally funded level.”
Other budget cutting moves include no new vehicle purchases and no police academy classes in 2013. He also hopes that the increase in health insurance costs come in lower than the 10% projected in the budget, which could save the department a significant amount.
Isom says the budget picture will become clearer and more adjustments will be made before the fiscal year begins July 1, 2012.
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