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May 29, 2017
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Press Release - Prop A
Posted On: Mar 16, 2017
MEDIA RELEASE For Comments Contact: Jeff Roorda at 314.420.3861 St. Louis Police Officers Association Opposes Misleading Ballot Initiative St. Louis, Missouri (March 13, 2017) – The St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) announced today that it is strongly encouraging a "no" vote on Proposition A, the April ballot initiative amending the city charter to eliminate the Recorder of Deeds office and requiring the savings to fund police body cameras. The police union that represents over one thousand St. Louis officers called the initiative misleading and misdirected. The union said that the estimates of over one million in savings are greatly exaggerated while the costs of a body camera program have been grossly understated. SLPOA Business Manager and spokesman, Jeff Roorda, projects that savings are closer to $150,000 which doesn't even scratch the surface of a body camera program that is certain to cost the City at least $5 million in hardware, software, data storage, and additional staffing. Roorda called the initiative a "fraud" on the people of St. Louis that is sure to be challenged in court over its inflated cost saving figures and its attempt to eliminate an office required by state statute. More importantly though, Roorda called the proposal a case of mislaid priorities. "We are dealing with a crisis today in St. Louis because we are unable to maintain minimum staffing levels for our police department. We are over one hundred officer down currently and frankly we could use another one-hundred-and-fifty more than the current authorized strength. We are bleeding experienced police officers because St. Louis is nearly $8,000 behind the regional average in police pay. That manpower short-fall translates into slow response times and an inability to stem the tide of deadly violence that plagues the bloody streets of St. Louis. Body cameras are a luxury. More officers is a necessity. The city leaders need to concentrate on what's crucial to the safety and survival of this city," Roorda said. Roorda noted that the attrition in the city police department is only going to get worse if something isn't done soon. "I have to wonder where the priorities are. St. Louis County has a multi-million dollar tax increase on the ballot in April that is pledged toward significant police raises and additional officers while the city is trifling with a ballot measure that produces a few thousand dollars for body cams and no money to increase salaries or expand the size of the police force. You think things are bad now? You will lose hundreds of irreplaceable city cops to St. Louis County if Prop P passes. St. Louis City is going to look like Detroit if we hemorrhage that kind of manpower." Roorda concluded, "this is a dangerous game we're playing and the people of St. Louis and the businesses that keep it vibrant deserve better." Roorda said that the union is asking every voter in St. Louis to cast a resounding no vote on Proposition A. ####
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