St. Louis (KSDK) - Budget woes could mean fewer police officers on the streets of St. Louis, according to St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom.
The chief told the board Wednesday morning the department will have to make due with 65 fewer officers, because of a $2 million budget shortfall.
"All of us would prefer to have 65 officers and not take the chance of making us less safe, but we are in the process of making sure that we look at ways in which we could adjust what we're doing to compensate for a loss off officers," Chief Isom said.
NewsChannel 5 had reported the officers were being laid off. However, police spokeswoman Erica Van Ross said the department will eliminate the positions through a process called "attrition," not via layoffs.
This particular round of attrition would require cancelling the next three scheduled police academy classes. This means as current officers retire or quit, they would not be replaced.
"I'm hoping that it doesn't have to come to be, but we are going to have to look at things that's for sure," said Thomas Walsh from the St. Louis Police Officers Association. "The department will have to look and make a recommendation. I'm not privileged to what those recommendations have been yet."
Chief Isom said the job eliminations are just a possibility and the department will talk to communities, the mayor's office and the Board of Police Commissioners.