Police union officials say St. Louis is facing a police staffing crisis. Currently, there are 1,196 sworn officers in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. But Jeff Roorda, business manager of the St. Louis Police Officers Association, believes that number is actually closer to 1,000 or 1,100 when considering military, maternity or sick leave.
5 On Your Side asked SLMPD for information to confirm that, but did not receive a response.
Add to that, Roorda said, the 100 positions the department cannot fill and the near 80 officers who’ve recently applied to go work in St. Louis County.
Roorda said the city is finding it hard to attract and retain officers. Starting officers in the city make about $10,000 less than an officer starting in the county. And that difference in pay can be even higher with more years of service.