St. Louis cops must repay academy costs if they leave early, bill proposes

One city lawmaker said repayment was already an expectation, but it hadn’t been enforced

By Suzie Ziegler 

ST. LOUIS — The city of St. Louis has suffered an “exodus” of police officers over the past year. Now, city lawmakers want to do something about it. 

A proposed bill would require new St. Louis cops to repay their academy training if they leave the force within two years of graduating, KSDK reported. The six-month training costs almost $37,000 and new officers are expected to stay four years, according to KMOV

City lawmakers unanimously passed the bill on Monday and the mayor has said she supports it, KMOV reported.  

The bill reads in part, “trainees who don’t accept law enforcement positions with the City or who leave their City law enforcement positions in a short period of time” could be responsible for paying back the cost of their training, according to the report. 

Alderman Brandon Bosley, the bill’s sponsor, says this expectation was already in place but it wasn’t enforced. 

“Some officers feel bothered when they see other officers that have left and say why do they get to leave and I don’t,” Bosley said. “[The bill] is just a way to enforce it.” 

Typically, 75 to 90 officers leave every year, police said. Last year, 178 officers left. 

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