Police department jobs at risk after Council vote

2 months 2 weeks 2 days ago September 20, 2016 Sep 20, 2016 Tuesday, September 20 2016 Tuesday, September 20, 2016 6:45:00 PM CDT in News
By: Adam Pressler, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA – By a vote of 6-1, The Columbia City Council voted to remove job protection for the city’s Police Lieutenants at Monday’s council meeting. Mayor Brian Treece voted against the change.

Dale Roberts, Executive Director for The Columbia Police Officers’ Association (TCPOA) said this is not the first time similar tactics have been implemented.

“They did this to the Captains about four years ago, and now this year they have taken job protection away from the Lieutenants. Really, we fear that they are going to keep doing this and next year it will be the Sergeants,” Roberts said.

Roberts said the police force now has a fear of job security.

“Now, people in those positions can be fired for no reason at all, with no notice at all. They have no way to appeal the choice, they are just fired,” he said.

Roberts said the only reason stated for this vote by city staff was growing concern over disloyalty from the command staff. However, Councilman Karl Skala said the council’s vote was a result of negotiations between the two parties.

“My vote to vote yes with respect to the Lieutenants was really a combination of my consideration and the recommendation from the city staff. It was also the result of the mediation process between Lieutenants and the city staff,” Skala said.

The Columbia Police Officers’ Association also has concerns over a recent study which found poor morale within the Columbia Police Department.

“Nine weeks ago, we released our morale survey, which showed morale was extremely bad. Years ago the city did a survey which showed department morale was ‘toxic’. Our survey from nine weeks ago still shows that eighty-four percent of officers still believe the work environment is toxic,” Roberts said.

Roberts said according to the Department of Justice, a municipality should have 2.5 officers for every 1,000 residents. He said Columbia only has 1.3 officers per 1,000 residents, leaving about 50 jobs open in the Columbia Police Department. 

However, Councilman Skala said the police job vacancies are not as open as others believe.

“Frankly, I think we need somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen to twenty new police officers. So last night we agreed to hire four more but at some point or another we will have to add just a couple more in the future," Skala said.

 

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man is hospitalized after being struck in the head with an ax by... More >>
27 minutes ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 11:54:13 AM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Police in southwestern Missouri's Springfield say a man was shot and killed while trying to burglarize a... More >>
1 hour ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 10:49:15 AM CST in News
WEBSTER GROVES (AP) — Officials at Webster University in suburban St. Louis say they have narrowed in on students responsible... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 10:13:19 AM CST in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A southeast Missouri man is facing several charges after allegedly trying to grab a police officer's... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 10:06:25 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A new high school in St. Louis County gives students with learning disabilities the opportunity to... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 10:01:36 AM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A woman whose pit bull was shot last year by a southwest Missouri police chief has agreed... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 9:58:51 AM CST in News
CHESTERFIELD (AP) — One of St. Louis County's largest cities is opposed to accepting the city of St. Louis into... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 9:46:07 AM CST in News
KENNETT (AP) — Missouri's biggest peach producer is suing Monsanto Co. over illegal herbicide users suspected of causing widespread crop... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 9:43:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas City police officer is unhurt after coming under fire while working an... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 9:28:51 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — One day after Ferguson residents heard an update on racial reform efforts in their community, a... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 9:26:25 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Stephens College is offering the public an opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a different way. A Dickens... More >>
9 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 3:05:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Residents were updated Tuesday night on two upcoming construction projects in the northern part of the city. ... More >>
16 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 8:04:00 PM CST in News
FENTON (AP) — Police are investigating the deaths of a couple whose stabbed bodies were found in their home in... More >>
17 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 7:15:16 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — It will now cost businesses or individuals who block sidewalks, traffic or parking spots in the city. ... More >>
18 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 5:59:00 PM CST in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY — Several mid-Missouri housing authorities will soon be changing their rules on smoking inside or near public housing.... More >>
18 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 5:55:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Possible light snow flurries of the season are bringing about winter preparations. KOMU 8 weathercaster Tim Schmidt... More >>
18 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 5:54:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The University of Missouri is officially looking for a new chancellor. And it might not have to go... More >>
19 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 5:07:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — MoDOT published Tuesday, an online guide in an effort to educate Missouri drivers on what their related... More >>
19 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 4:56:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 35°
1pm 34°
2pm 35°
3pm 35°
4pm 34°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
12:30p
Inside Edition
1:00p
Days of Our Lives
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury
2:00p
Judge Alex

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Hairspray Live!
9:55p
To Be Announced
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Frequency
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld