ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – (UPDATED 5/17/17 5 p.m.) St. Louis police are denying a claim made by the police union that fewer than 1,000 of the city’s some 1,200 police officers have guns and are working the streets.
St. Louis Police Officers Association Business Manager Jeff Roorda told KMOX on Tuesday that the math means 200 officers aren’t on the street and don’t have a gun issued to them.
But now, St. Louis police have relased a statement saying: “We have 1,196 sworn officers on the department. We currently have 1,197 guns issued to those sworn officers. One officer has a competition pistol issued to him as well, which accounts for the extra gun in the database.”
Our previous reporting is as follows:
The St. Louis Police Officers Association is warning of a “mass exodus” of city officers applying for higher paying jobs in the county.
The union is warning fewer than 1,000 officers are actually armed and working the streets – despite the official tally of 1,200 officers on the force. Manager Jeff Roorda says the police armory keeps track of how many department-issued guns are in use.
Roorda says many of those 200 unarmed officers are on sick leave, maternity leave, or military leave. He adds about 80 city officers have applied for higher paying jobs in the county – after voters approved a tax hike for pay raises in the county in April.
“Let’s remember that’s just St. Louis County,” Roorda says. “All these other municipalities out in St. Louis County, are also going to get a piece of Prop P. There’s no telling how many officers are applying at agencies out in the county.”