Cape Girardeau City Council approves upgrades to pension for Public Safety Department

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – The city of Cape Girardeau approved the addition of the Public Safety Department to the Missouri Local Government Employees’ Retirement System (LAGERS) L –6 plan.  

According to Cape Girardeau’s Public Information Officer Bobby Netwon, this will allow jailers and communication staff to be under the same plan as the police department.  

“So, it allows the communication officers a lot of the jailers to be part of the entire Police Department and get the same benefits that the officers are receiving for their retirement,” said Newton. 

The LAGERS system is meant to supplement an employee’s retirement income. 

Jailers and communication officers were classified as general employees under LAGERS.  

This approval will move the Public Safety Department from being general employees with a retirement age of 60 to a retirement age of 55.  

“Because in order to get them on the same level as us and hopes to recruit more applicants for those positions we want to offer a better opportunity for them and the longevity to keep them here,” said Newton. 

The move also comes with a one-time payment of $125,000, which is approved for the 2022-2023 budget that will pay a portion of the upgrade to pension.  

Newton says the change was needed and hopes this brings in more qualified candidates. 

“We’ve been having to pull officers off of the road that’s typically patrolling and place them in the jail to do jail checks to book inmates to you know feed the inmates just everyday operations of the jail along with we’re losing funding because without the jail staff, we cannot house federal inmates which we also receive funding from,” said Newton. 

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