It’s been a bloody year for cops around the country. Already, dozens have been killed in the line of duty. In St. Louis, two law enforcement officers have been killed. Some in the criminal justice field say assaults against police officers are high in St. Louis and they worry that attitudes against police here are getting worse.
In the first of a two-part series, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach explores the dangers police officers face today and spoke with some people living in higher crime neighborhoods about how they feel about their police.
St. Louis City police officers have entered into a first-ever collective bargaining agreement with the city.
Jeff Roorda is a former state representative and current business manager for the police union. He says the agreement removes the main barrier the department had against local control.
“We’ve resisted city control for years and that was because we needed to have a place to resolve our differences and in the past that’s been the state legislature," Roorda said. “Now, we have a union contract and arbitration where we can resolve those differences.”
It's a three-year deal that locks in salaries, benefits and department operating procedures. Mayor Francis Slay called the hard work it took to reach the deal worth it.
"I think it gives us a good opportunity to have a stronger partnership and to work together more closely for a better department and one that helps us address crime and other issues in the city of St. Louis," he said.