As the president of the city police union, I write to correct the several false statements in the editorial "Beware the ‘outrage’ ” (July 13) about the union's position on the proposed sales tax increase. Both the editorial's headline and content falsely state that the union has taken a position opposing this proposal. It has not. Nor do we oppose effective social programs designed to reduce crime as the editorial implied.
Instead, it is this union's hope that this measure will lead to an equitable solution of the present crisis of exceptionally low, non-competitive city police salaries. Otherwise, many officers who want to spend their career fighting the city's crime epidemic, but also need to support their families, may be forced to flee to the St. Louis County police force or surrounding agencies, where officers' wages average approximately $15,000 more due to the passage of Proposition P.
Our union is engaged in collective bargaining with the city to reach an acceptable solution to the wage crisis. The editorial's distortion of our position is helpful to neither that process nor the public's understanding of the sales tax issues. We urge you to get your facts straight next time.
Edward Clark • St. Louis
President, St. Louis Police Officers Association