Community forum on search for new St. Louis police chief

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ST. LOUIS - A public forum is being held Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the International Institute (3401 Arsenal Street) in South St. Louis where citizens may voice their input on the search for a new chief for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. The Citizen Advisory Committee is hosting the community meeting.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson formed the 13-member panel to help guide the city as it searches for a new chief.

Former Chief Sam Dotson retired the day after Krewson was sworn in as mayor but will stay on as a consultant for another year. Deputy Chief Lawrence O`Toole was named the Interim Police Chief until a permanent chief is chosen.

The Citizen Advisory Committee will help guide the search while providing input and feedback along the way, according to the mayor's office. The group includes clergy, business leaders, a former police chief and a former police commissioner.

Duties may include drafting the formal job description for the new police chief, organizing input from community groups and deciding whether to hire an independent search firm.

Candidates from within and outside the city's police department will be considered. According to city attorneys, until 2013, state laws prevented the department from hiring a police chief from outside the department. The city regained control of the department in 2013, and this will be the first time the city has considered outside candidates for the job.

The selection process is expected to take six months to a year.

The next public meeting will be held Saturday, July 8 from 10 a. m. until 12 p.m. at Vashon High School (3035 Cass Avenue).

Visit for more information on the Citizen Advisory Committee.