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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The City of St. Louis swore in 18 new officers Thursday night. This comes at a time when Police Chief Sam Dotson said the department is in desperate need of more officers.

Dotson said the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is losing about three officers every two weeks and he contributes a lot of this to the fact that they can’t offer a competitive salary.

Dotson said the starting salary for a city officer is $8,000 less than county officers and, with the passage of Proposition P, a tax to specifically fund county officers, that gap will only widen.

To combat the problem, Dotson said he and mayor-elect Lyda Krewson met with the civic progress committee and big business owners to come up with a campaign to start paying city officers more.

According to data from the FBI, in 2015 St. Louis ranked 7th among all cities when it came to most officers per capita Dotson said that number does not take into account socioeconomic factors, it is just a simple population number and law enforcement is more complicated than that statistic.