SB 23
Allows the City of St. Louis to control its police force without state intervention
LR Number:
Last Action:
5/13/2011 - S Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection--SB 23-Keaveny, with SCS & SS for SCS (pending)
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:

Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 23 - The City of St. Louis may establish a municipal police force. The police force shall provide for the employment of all current officers and employees at their current salaries. Such persons shall also be entitled to all accrued benefits, including vacation time, sick leave, health insurance, life insurance, and pensions. All former employees shall maintain their accrued benefits.

In addition, the city must provide or contract for life, health, medical, and disability insurance and salary continuation coverage for officers, employees, those who retired from the current St. Louis police department, and retirees of the municipal police force established under this act. Health, medical, and life insurance must be available for purchase by the spouses or dependents of deceased retired officers and employees who receive benefits from the Police Retirement System of St. Louis.

The city may pay shift differential compensation to police officers who work evenings or nights, but the compensation may not exceed ten percent of the officer’s hourly rate.

The city shall recognize any residency regulations for officers adopted by the current board of police commissioners in effect on the effective day of the act and may not change such regulations.

The current state statutes concerning the St. Louis police department shall expire upon the effective date of this act.

No officer, employee, or representative of a St. Louis police force may engage in certain activities with a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition, including enticing such dealers and sellers into an illegal transaction, providing materially false information about the legality of such transactions, or procuring another to engage in such conduct.

This act prohibits an officer, employee, liaison, or registered representative of a St. Louis police force from lobbying the general assembly except in his or her personal capacity. Anyone can bring an action for monetary damages of $10,000 in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce this lobbying prohibition. Upon a finding of a violation, the court shall award attorney fees and costs to the plaintiff. The state waives all immunity in such an action.

No person may solicit political contributions from an officer, agent, or employee of the St. Louis police force, and no such solicitation may occur in a room or building used for the official duties of the police. In addition, no officer or employee in the service of the police force shall directly or indirectly contribute to any political purpose whatsoever.

The following political activities by an officer, agent, or employee of the St. Louis police force are prohibited: taking certain employment actions against an employee who refuses to make political contributions or render political services; attempting to coerce, command, or advise an officer or employee of the police to make such contributions or render such services; using his or her official authority to interfere with an election; being a member or official of any political party committee or board of aldermen; soliciting votes for or against a candidate for public office; polling precincts, engaging in other similar political work; or affixing a sign that supports or opposes a ballot measure or candidate to police property or vehicles.

In addition to those political prohibitions, no question in any examination may relate to, and no employment action may be affected by, political or religious opinions, and no person shall provide false information with regard to any St. Louis police tests, certificates, or appointments.

Also prohibited is the payment or solicitation of money or other valuable consideration for any appointment or promotion within the St. Louis police force, the obstruction of any person’s right to such appointments or promotions, or the provision of secret information to affect such employment matters.

A violation of the above prohibitions on activities relating to politics and the employment of St. Louis police officers will result in discharge from the St. Louis police force and the chief of police shall prefer charges. A fine of $50 to $500 and imprisonment of not more than six months may be imposed Any city alderman may sue to restrain payment of compensation to such officer. A person discharged shall not be eligible to work for the police force or the city government for five years.

Any current police pension system created under Chapter 86 for the benefit of the St. Louis police department shall continued to be governed by Chapter 86 and shall apply to the police force established under this act. The City of St. Louis shall continue to fund the St. Louis Police pension system pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 86.

This act modifies the definition of "earnable income" and "police officer" for purposes of the St. Louis police retirement system to remove references to Section 84.160 which will expire upon passage of this act. "Earnable compensation" shall include any compensation for academic work and shift differential that may be provided by any official or board that manages the police force. The act also specifies that any future official or president of a board authorized to manage the police force, or his or her designee, shall be a member of such retirement system board of trustees. The number of members appointed to such board of trustees by the mayor shall be reduced from three to two.

The provisions of this act are effective upon notification by the Clerk of the Board of Aldermen of the city of St. Louis to the General Assembly and the Revisor of Statutes that the charter of the city of St. Louis has been amended to reduce the Board of Aldermen to fourteen members with at least two from each ward.

This act is similar to the perfected version of HB 71 (2011), HB 1601 (2010), SS/SCS/SB 643 (2010), SB 486 (2007), SB 785 (2008), HB 552 (2009).