ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The call turns urgent from St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson for more money to hire more police officers.

He says every month the department is losing between four and six officers, who are quitting or taking other jobs.

Dotson wants to beef up the department from 1,200 to 1,460 officers. First he needs more money to raise starting salaries, he says.

“If you are a young person and you want to be a police officer,” Dotson says. “Do I want to come to the city and make $42,000 or do it go to St. Louis County and make $49,000? It’s an easy question. You go to St. Louis county, or you go to one of the municipalities.”

His message comes after the city of Chicago announced its plans to try to find money to hire another 1000 officers.
But St. Louis Alderwoman, and St. Louis mayor candidate, Lyda Krewson says that money won’t appear from cutting services.

“I don’t think there is a pot of money under the rug that we can pull out and cancel our subscriptions to magazines in order to pay for this,” Krewson says. “So I think that we are going to have to cut incrementally in order to pay for cops or find a revenue source.”

Alderman Scott Ogilvie wants to enact a new tax on cell phones that would raise money for the city’s 911 emergency system, and free up money for police. Alderman Tom Villa says it might be time to raise the sales tax for more police.

(TM and ? Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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