ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOX) – Civilian employees within the St. Louis County police department say they deserve a far bigger slice of the Prop P pie.
They packed the chambers during Tuesday night’s St. Louis County Council meeting, and more than a dozen spoke out in favor of larger raises for civilian workers.
Among those speaking was Debra Lang, a department of justice services employee who said her office is on the maximum security floor of the county jail and therefore she faces many of the same dangers as officers on the street.
“Every day I come into contact with murders, rapists, robbers, etc., that have been back and forth to prison,” she said. “My life is in danger every day I come to work.”
Former security officer James Baldwin stressed how similar what they do is to the day-to-day work of a full-time officer.
“We’re constantly training and doing everything the police officers do,” he explained. “We’re working side-by-side with the same responsibilities and we have to follow the same standards.”
Crime lab chemist Andrew Weston told council members that they’re only averaging 68% of the industry standard, which he believes is going to cost the county in the long run.
“We all realize we could go work in the private sector for a company like Monsanto, or Sigma Aldrich, or Anheuser-Busch and make almost twice as much money,” he claimed. “But the scientists of the police crime laboratory have a sense of service and duty that compels us to use our skills, knowledge and training to serve and support the citizens of St. Louis County.”
Currently, the civilian employees are only in line to receive a 3% raise, compared to 30% for police officers in the wake of Prop P’s passage last April.