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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hello? City Hall? Anyone Listening? Chief Isom Here. I Need Some Money.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Seriously. I know you can hear me. - CHAD GARRISON
  • Chad Garrison
  • 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," writes Isom.  

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.  

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