CLAYTON, Mo. – More than two years after St Louis County voters approved Proposition P, a half-cent sales tax to fund police and public safety, the county council decided Tuesday which government groups are eligible to receive funding.
In addition to police, Prop P funds will go to the county prosecutor's office, county jail, county counselor's office, family court, and municipal court. At one point, there was a discussion about expanding the definition of "public safety" to include highway workers and park rangers.
Also given a final passage was approximately $404,730 of Prop P funds awarded to the county counselor's office to provide raises to employees in that office.
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has 15 days to sign those bills into law.
The council voted to advance a bill to fund in-car and body cameras for the St. Louis County Police Department. Chief Jon Belmar calls it a "common sense approach" and said cameras will aid in community engagement, transparency and officer safety.
The council also voted to advance a bill to spend $520,000 of Prop P funds to expand ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection system that Belmar said has been successful for fighting crime in north St. Louis County. The expansion will cover an area north of Interstate 270.
The county council is scheduled to take a final vote on the cameras and ShotSpotter expansion at its next meeting.