For Comments Contact: Joe Steiger at 314.420.0703 or Jeff Roorda at 314.420.3861
St. Louis Police Officers Association Will Sue Over Promotional Process
St. Louis, Missouri (September 30, 2015) – The St. Louis Police Officers Association lamented what it called "illegal and misguided" promotions announced by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department today. The department announced the promotion of four sergeants; six lieutenants; five captains; three majors; and, one lieutenant colonel.
Association president Joe Steiger said, "these are each well-qualified, exemplary law enforcement professionals who were promoted today but we have laws governing the promotional process that simply were not followed. Perhaps even more alarming, is the sheer number of people who were promoted given this city's violent crime crisis and drastic manpower shortages."
According to the Association, the department is currently 82 officers below its authorized staffing level of 1,302 sworn officers. Steiger continued, "at a time when horrendous acts of violence are a daily occurrence, we need more officers on the street and fewer sitting behind a desk. The taxpayers of the City of St. Louis were promised when the department went through redistricting that command positions would be eliminated, police districts would be consolidated and more officers would be on the streets patrolling their crime-plagued neighborhoods. That's not what's happening."
Under a ballot initiative passed overwhelmingly by voters in Missouri in November 2012, promotional processes were to remain unchanged according to Steiger and Association general counsel Neil Bruntrager, but that isn't the case. "The enabling statute ratified by the people of Missouri gives the city clear direction regarding its post-local control police promotional processes but the city has chosen to ignore those. We'll see what a judge has to say about that," Bruntrager said foreshadowing legal action by the Association.
Lieutenants and Captains were promoted based on an eligibility list that was generated prior to local control so those promotions wouldn't be the subject of litigation or at least not until those eligibility lists expired.
Steiger called today's developments "disappointing and another example of broken promises to citizens and police officers beleaguered by crime."