Columbia Police Union wants cut of leftover budget money

2 years 7 months 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
COLUMBIA (Missourian) - Lucky’s Market will close Tuesday and will later reopen as a Schnucks. Schnucks does not... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, April 04 2020 Apr 4, 2020 Saturday, April 04, 2020 6:07:00 PM CDT April 04, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri is asking medical professionals who are not working to join a specialized state team that... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, April 04 2020 Apr 4, 2020 Saturday, April 04, 2020 6:00:00 PM CDT April 04, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The state is working on mobilizing more personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 first responders. Slow... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, April 04 2020 Apr 4, 2020 Saturday, April 04, 2020 3:49:00 PM CDT April 04, 2020 in News
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A cluster of coronavirus cases have been found at a rehabilitation center in Kansas City, Kansas.... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, April 04 2020 Apr 4, 2020 Saturday, April 04, 2020 3:48:23 PM CDT April 04, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY (The Kansas City Star) — The search for the body of a Missouri woman presumed to have been... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, April 04 2020 Apr 4, 2020 Saturday, April 04, 2020 3:34:00 PM CDT April 04, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The COVID-19 pandemic is defining for the globe what's essential and what things we really can't go without,... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, April 04 2020 Apr 4, 2020 Saturday, April 04, 2020 3:30:00 PM CDT April 04, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is acknowledging the financial hardships individuals and families may be facing during the COVID-19... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, April 04 2020 Apr 4, 2020 Saturday, April 04, 2020 2:56:00 PM CDT April 04, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, April 04 2020 Apr 4, 2020 Saturday, April 04, 2020 2:20:00 PM CDT April 04, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA -Dieticians know there are challenges when buying groceries and making meals at home during a statewide "stay-at-home" order. ... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, April 04 2020 Apr 4, 2020 Saturday, April 04, 2020 11:48:00 AM CDT April 04, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- People drove up one-by-one to drop off bread on Saturday to help local senior centers. The bread... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, April 04 2020 Apr 4, 2020 Saturday, April 04, 2020 10:45:00 AM CDT April 04, 2020 in News
COLLUMBIA -- Walmart will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once and scale back... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, April 04 2020 Apr 4, 2020 Saturday, April 04, 2020 9:59:00 AM CDT April 04, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. KOMU 8 News... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, April 04 2020 Apr 4, 2020 Saturday, April 04, 2020 9:00:00 AM CDT April 04, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper who was driving a boat when a handcuffed... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 03 2020 Apr 3, 2020 Friday, April 03, 2020 9:47:00 PM CDT April 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Julia Griffin is in the same situation as millions of Americans. She doesn’t know when she’ll be able... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 03 2020 Apr 3, 2020 Friday, April 03, 2020 6:33:00 PM CDT April 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Stay-at-home orders and fears of catching or spreading COVID-19 means fewer people are leaving their homes unless they... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 03 2020 Apr 3, 2020 Friday, April 03, 2020 6:30:00 PM CDT April 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Veterans United Foundation is donating a total of $1 million to several communities for COVID-19 relief starting April... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 03 2020 Apr 3, 2020 Friday, April 03, 2020 3:14:00 PM CDT April 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The MU College of Textile and Apparel Management is making Personal Protective Equipment for MU Health Care. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 03 2020 Apr 3, 2020 Friday, April 03, 2020 3:01:00 PM CDT April 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One local business is finding a new way to stop that feeling of isolation. Ragtag Cinema shut... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 03 2020 Apr 3, 2020 Friday, April 03, 2020 2:43:00 PM CDT April 03, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 40°
12am 44°
1am 42°
2am 39°
3am 39°