Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

New Brentwood police chief discusses plans for department

BRENTWOOD, Mo. – Big changes are ahead for the Brentwood Police Department as it welcomes a new police chief this week.

Incoming Chief Joseph Spiess says he’s getting straight to business.

“The more closely we pay attention to our cops, the better employees we have,” he said. “The more engaged they are (with) our citizens, the less violent confrontations we're going to have, which has caused a lot of the issues."

Spiess has spent 32 years in law enforcement around St. Louis. He's putting that experience into action, hoping to keep his officers safe.

Under Spiess’ direction, at least two officers will meet up and respond to calls together.

“Anytime you can get another officer to the scene where ever they are, there’s less of an opportunity for someone to challenge them,” he said. “Doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but obviously it will help.”

Spiess is also taking a new approach to tracking crime, pinpointing where it's happening and when so they can figure out if certain businesses or areas are high-risk targets.

“Strategizing around how you’re going to track each of those crimes begins with the process of learning where they are and what they are,” he said. “So that’s the education process not only for me but for our department as we move forward; really look at that crime hard and dissect it.”

Spiess says he also wants to build on the department's relationship with Brentwood schools by offering a resource to help with social media investigations, interview techniques, getting parents involved, and medical intervention.

“I’ve looked at it there are at with risk kids here in Brentwood that they’re worried about we can de-escalate those kids with them,” he said.

With past experience in active shooter training, Spiess plans sit-downs with schools and business leaders who are interested to map out safety strategies.

Spiess says they department will host a free public safety course in about eight weeks.