Search For New St. Louis Police Chief Begins

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- The search for a new St. Louis chief of police is now in high gear. And the public will get a say in the process.

Three public town hall-style meetings will ask ordinary citizens what qualities they'd like in the city's new top cop.

Police Chief Dan Isom has two and a half more months on the job before he retires to become a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

And the search to replace him is starting to move quickly.

All the candidates for chief will have to answer a questionnaire being put together by the current chief's new employer, the Criminology Department at UMSL.

State law says a chief has to come from within the ranks of the department and has to have at least the rank of captain. That means 22 people in the department are eligible to apply for the chief's position. The police board says anyone who's interested has to send a letter to the police board by next Friday in order to be considered.

Once the list of candidates is narrowed down by the UMSL questionnaire and a very close look into their personal and financial backgrounds, the finalists will be put through three public town hall meetings, one on the south side, one on the north side, and one in the central corridor.

City officials hope to have the entire process done and a new chief selected by early December.

On top of all this state voters decide on November 6th whether to return control of city police from the state to city hall. If that happens, city control of police becomes effective next July.