Columbia Police Union wants cut of leftover budget money

9 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Tuesday, August 29 2017 Aug 29, 2017 Tuesday, August 29, 2017 7:28:00 PM CDT August 29, 2017 in News
By: Chris Joseph, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council is deciding how to spend more than $2.2 million of fiscal year 2016 city savings. The Columbia Police Officers Association executive director called on the council Tuesday to apportion some of the money to financial incentives for  officers.

“The city has taken away benefits that they used to receive and that's impacted their pay, that's reduced their pay” Dale Roberts said. "So officers aren't staying like they used to."

The Association acts as a union for the police officers, and conducted a survey in 2016 that outlined how they were suffering from low morale. It cited too much work, uncompetitive pay and an understaffed department as key issues. 

The $2.2 million became available to the council because some departments came in under budget for the previous fiscal year.

“We have a proposal where they could do things like a signing bonus,” Roberts said.

He said the city could also cover the tuition for more officers who want to go to the police academy. That would require the officers to serve in Columbia for a pre-determined amount of time, stemming turnover. 

The council held a meeting earlier in August to discuss ideas on how to spend the money. Suggestions included dispersing a portion to city workers, donations to non-profits and increased support of community policing.

Ward 4 councilman Ian Thomas said he is willing to work with the Police Officers Association on incentives, but wants greater community engagement before approving long-term funding increases for the department.

“We must have an authentic community engagement process about policing, about our philosophy of policing,” Thomas said. "We have to engage all members of our community, especially the residents of high crime neighborhoods."

Ward 3 councilman Karl Skala said he encourages investment in sidewalks or street lights, which could help reduce excess 911 calls.

“It would lighten their workload to the extent that the neighborhoods to which they are attached would work better,” Skala said.

Ward 2 councilman Michael Trapp said he is open to discussing incentives, but all parties concerned should understand the $2.2 million is a small part of the big picture.

“In one time funds, it's not even enough to hire a police officer,” Trapp said. "A police officer, in one time funds, costs about $6 million."

All three councilmen said there are initial talks of a property tax referendum to create a long-term funding solution for the police department. The vote, if it takes place, would happen next spring.

The city and the association are currently undergoing contract talks.

Roberts said he liked where the conversation was going, but the current version of the contract would only address ordinance-based grievances. He said the funding shortage is not effectively addressed in the contracts current format.

The council will decide how to use the leftover money at its September meetings.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
CALLAWAY COUNTY – Crews recently broke ground on a new hog farm in Callaway County, and locals have strong opinions... More >>
29 minutes ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:06:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C. - More than 600 members of the United Methodist Church have issued a formal church complaint against Attorney... More >>
34 minutes ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:01:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Radio Television Digital News Association has named KOMU.com best website in a small market for the second... More >>
47 minutes ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 2:48:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Cole County judge says there are a few key legal questions to be answered before he... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 1:40:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Juneteenth brings communities together to honor the official ending of slavery in the U.S. One group in Jefferson... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:17:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Democratic Party and a World War II veteran are suing to block the appointment of... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:10:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Trump administration policy to force separation of migrant children and parents at the U.S.-Mexico... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 7:58:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Monday began Summer Safety Week and local programs are helping those in danger of not being able to... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 5:54:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Democratic political action committee is targeting Republican Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley for not... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 4:22:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - Former Gov. Eric Greitens' attorneys will meet with lawyers Tuesday to discuss his use of the Confide... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:00:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump announced Monday he is directing the Pentagon to create a new "Space Force" as... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 7:08:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri democrats want Governor Mike Parson fire his chief operating officer and cancel a contract awarded to... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missouri air conditioning companies are facing the busiest time of year amid a four-day heat advisory. Craig... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 5:16:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The attorney representing the security guard who shot Anthony Warren at a Waffle House on New Year's Day... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The 600 block of Monroe Street will be closed until Friday. Construction crews are removing a retaining... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 2:20:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A death, a huge cache of weapons and a suspect whose gun jammed as he was aiming... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 2:17:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Mike Parson appointed state Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe to be the new lieutenant... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 1:15:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport may reach new heights after the city council accepted a bid and authorized a... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 12:42:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 94°
4pm 89°
5pm 87°
6pm 81°
7pm 82°