Recruitment & Retention      Community Relations       Equitable Policy Reform       Support for Officers

OFFICIAL STATEMENT: Proposed City of St. Louis Wage Increase


The proposed City of St. Louis wage increase of just 3% is disappointing for all city employees and a recipe for failure towards attracting and retaining police officers. With health insurance premiums increasing by 4.9%, in reality, we are receiving almost no raise at all.

If the City really is committed to being an “employer of choice,” this isn’t the way to do it. What choice is there for many officers who have families to support when neighboring St. Louis County Police Department starting salaries are nearly 9% percent higher?

The City’s own consultant, Management Advisory Group International Inc., hired last year to evaluate the pay levels for more than 600 positions, called for more than double this citywide pay increase — 7.6%. And they determined that first responders should get a 14.5% increase to be competitive.

We believe the money is there to do better. Far fewer officers are on SLMPD payroll than the budget has allocated. Some of that budget surplus should compensate our dedicated officers who work just as hard, but receive much less than their colleagues in other departments.

We hear constant messaging about the City listening to and caring about their constituents, the citizens of St. Louis. If there are citizen complaints of constant speeding in a neighborhood or a streetlight out, you better believe that action will take place. But the basic needs of the City’s employees do not get the same priority. 

It really is a tragedy that the elected officials of our city government undervalue their workers. Plain and simple — 3% is not nearly enough.

– The Ethical Society of Police


The Ethical Society of Police (ESOP) is an association of police officers, park rangers, and civilians that advocates for racial and gender equity in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and St. Louis County Police Department. ESOP was founded in 1972 to address racial biases within law enforcement. ESOP also works to improve community/police relations, develop policies and programs to reduce crime, elevate the status of minority civilians and police officers, encourage greater minority employment by law enforcement agencies, and increase professionalism in law enforcement. Membership is open to all races and includes more than 370 law enforcement professionals employed by the City and County of St. Louis. ESOP membership is approximately 97% African American, but membership is open to all races, religions and sexual orientations. For details, call (314) 690-3565, email or visit


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