ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI-FOX2now.com) — The St. Louis Police Department is spending $80,000 on new formal uniforms. The new jackets are supposed to boost morale and make officers proud, but some officers have raised concerns about the cost.
Police Chief Dan Isom said his officers are among the few large departments that don't have formal attire to wear when they honor their fallen.
"One of the small things that they ask for was a dress uniform that really would give honor to our fallen officers and really make it special when we went to our special ceremonies," said Chief Daniel Isom of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Dept.
Follow FOX 2 On Facebook
Cheif Isom points to Highway Patrol and St. Louis County officers who get formal uniforms. Hhis department is picking up less than half the bill, $80,000 of it. While the non-profit police foundation is putting in $100,000.
Isom calls the dress uniforms a small gesture to give back to officers who've been deprived of so much. They've faced years of pay freezes and a decline in chances for overtime pay.
No one seems to dispute St. Louis officers need more for what they give us. Why not something other than a coat? For example, our sources say officers don't have their own tasers, detective bureau interrogation rooms and cameras to record confessions.
"The money could go to a bunch of different things. Any time you make a decision to spend money you could find 20 different things to spend it on," said said Isom.
Isom admits cutting other perks, like take home cars from some bomb squad and homicide detectives. He said he was making that decision regardless, to spread out vehicles for more officers to use. That's why he likes the new uniform. It's something for all of his men and women.
The uniform purchase was also not put out for bid, while many other purchases are bid out. The department says that's because this was paid for by a mix of private and public money.