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Two aldermen join calls to boost St. Louis police pay and benefits

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South City shooting

A detective ducks under police tape at the scene of St. Louis's tenth fatal shooting of the year on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 in the Dutchtown neighborhood. A memorial for a different homicide can be seen in the background. Photo by Colter Peterson, cpeterson@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS — Two aldermen filed a resolution this week calling for more competitive pay for city police officers and new incentives to attract and retain more of them.

Aldermen Pam Boyd, who represents a slice of the city's northwest side, and Carol Howard, of south city, said the city should also offer take-home cars to officers with at least 10 years of experience and homebuying assistance in the form of loans or tax abatement. 

The department, like many across the country, is struggling to hire officers. It's also facing increased competition from suburban departments that pay more. 

The resolution won't take any direct action to change that, but it asks the city's personnel department to make its proposals part of negotiations with the police union.

City Comptroller Darlene Green unveiled a similar slate of ideas last month.

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Austin Huguelet is the Post-Dispatch's City Hall reporter. He previously covered business for the Post-Dispatch and state politics for the Springfield News-Leader.

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