SB 808 - This act creates the "Safer St. Louis Act of 2023."

This act provides that the city of St. Louis may pass ordinances, including ordinances for preserving order and protecting the public; but no ordinances shall, in any manner, conflict or interfere with the powers or the exercise of the powers of any board of police commissioners. Additionally, the mayor or any city officer shall not impede or hinder any such board. The mayor or any city officer shall be liable for a penalty of $1,000 for each and every offense to hinder the board and shall forever be disqualified from holding or exercising any office of the city.

Additionally, this act provides that any municipal police force in St. Louis City shall employ no less than 1,313 commissioned officers per each tenth of the percentage of the violent crime rate according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting System or 1,142 commissioned officers, whichever is greater. Such municipal police force shall also have commissioned officers with ranks at minimum levels according to this act. If the municipal police force fails to comply with any of these requirements, the Attorney General may file a civil action to enforce the provisions of this act. If a court finds the city violated this act, the court shall order the Governor to appoint a board of police commissioners to act as a special administrative board.

Such special administrative board shall develop a comprehensive policing plan addressing the governance, funding, and operation of any police force in the city. The board shall consider alternative police forces as provided in the act. Once the board adopts a policing plan, it shall be transmitted to the Governor, the Attorney General, the General Assembly, the Mayor of St. Louis, and the governing body of St. Louis. Such policing plan shall take effect the year following its submission to the General Assembly, unless the General Assembly disapproves of the policing plan by concurrent resolution.

If the special administrative board adopts a police force under the control of a board of police commissioner, such board is required to appoint and employ a permanent police force consisting of not less than 1,142 members. The board may continue to employ as many non-commissioned police civilians as it deems necessary in order to perform the duties imposed on them, which shall include city marshals and park rangers. The board shall grant every member of the police force a certain number of paid vacation days based on how long each member has served as provided in the act.

Additionally, the board shall establish the following maximum number of officers of the police force in each rank:

• 1 chief of police with the rank of colonel;

• 1 assistant chief of police with the rank of lieutenant colonel;

• 4 additional lieutenant colonels;

• 10 captains;

• 57 lieutenants; and

• 188 sergeants.

No further appointments to the rank of major shall be made, but all members of the force now holding the rank of major shall continue in that rank until their promotion, demotion, removal, resignation, or other separation from the force. The salaries paid as of August 28, 2024, shall not be less than the annual salaries paid to each member before the enactment of this act and annual salaries shall increase by no less than $4,000 by July 1, 2025. No additional compensation shall be given to any officer of the rank of lieutenant or above for overtime, court time, or stand-by court time.

Probationary patrolmen, patrolmen, and sergeants shall receive compensation for all hours of service in excess of the established regular working period, for all authorized overtime, and for employees who complete academic work at an accredited college or university up to a certain amount as provided in the act. Additionally, certain officers may receive up to 10% of their salary in additional compensation for hours worked between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

This act provides that until the board adopts other investigative and disciplinary procedures, the police force shall follow the disciplinary and investigative procedures established by the Police Manual of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department which are consistent with law. The board shall not adopt any disciplinary procedures that do not include the summary hearing board procedures provided for currently in the Police Manual.

This act provides that reimbursements from the Legal Expense Fund to the board for liability claims shall be on a twenty-one equal share basis per claim up to a maximum of one million dollars per fiscal year.

This act is identical to SCS/SB 78 (2023) and substantially similar to SB 280 (2023) and HCS/HB 2432 (2022) and similar to SB 1012 (2022) and to provisions in HB 2432 (2022), HB 2671 (2022), and HB 1476 (2021).


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