Seriously. I know you can hear me.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Daniel Isom
presented the police board today with a $168-million budget for fiscal year 2010. The city, meanwhile, has allocated just $150.7 million for the department.
Isom's proposed budget is a nearly $20-million increase over the $148 million the city allocated the department for the '09 fiscal year. Among other expenditures, the police chief maintains that $2.65 million is needed to purchase new cop cars (one-third of department's fleet has more than 100,000 miles) and $3 million for a new property custody facility.
In a letter to the police board, Isom suggests he's had a difficult time communicating his concerns with City Hall.
"I have included funds to cover the potential cost of settling the
retiree healthcare lawsuit as I have not received clear direction from
City Hall as to who will ultimately bear the cost of any settlement,"
The chief states that city officials also have
yet to respond to his proposal to turn several department jobs into
civilian positions. The move, claims Isom, would free up more officers
for traditional policing duties.
"Discussions with City
Hall staff about this topic did not result in my receiving a clear
indication as to whether or not the city accepts, in principal, the
idea of civilizianizing positions previously held by police
officers...When I receive definitive guidance from the city about
whether or not it accepts the concept of civilianization I will propose
either cutting the number of commissioned or civilian positions."
Isom's 2010 budget calls for an additional $2.1 million for civilian salaries.