ST. LOUIS – The City of St. Louis has identified the four finalists to be the city’s next police chief.

The announcement comes a day before a town hall meeting where the public will have a chance to meet the candidates and ask questions.

“By bringing St. Louisans into the selection process, we are putting the public back in public safety,” Mayor Tishaura Jones said. “I look forward to hearing more from each of the finalists about their vision to keep St. Louis safe for our families and visitors.”

The town hall takes place at 6 p.m. at Vashon High School, located at 3035 Cass Avenue. Questions will be based on feedback submitted through the city’s website.

The finalists are:

  • Interim St. Louis Police Chief Michael Sack
  • Larry Boone, former chief of the Norfolk, Virginia Police Department
  • Robert Tracy, chief of the Wilmington, Delaware Police Department
  • Melron Kelly, deputy chief of the Columbia, SC Police Department

Both local police unions in the city, the St. Louis Police Officers Association and the Ethical Society of Police, are criticizing the process that led to the four finalists.

While we are encouraged the process is coming to an end and the officers of the SLMPD will have stability in the chief’s office, the process itself has been very confusing and has not been transparent to say the least. The SLPOA, as well as the rest of the citizens of St. Louis City and the region, would have liked to know what candidates were being considered for a chance to at least review their credentials before the list got this far.

Jay Schroeder, president of the SLPOA

ESOP’s friends in the community come to us with the same question regarding the SLMPD Chief search — where has transparency been in this process?

The chief of police greatly impacts the citizens who reside within the city as well as business owners. Why hasn’t the public been given information about the candidates before now, so they can do their own research? Why has this long process been so secretive?

The town hall is finally an opportunity for the public to be involved. We are calling on City of St. Louis residents to attend.

If you are not assisting with the solution, you are made into the excuse for the process to continue behind closed doors.

This town hall is a start, but the public needs more transparency every step of the way until the chief is selected. Let’s show them St. Louis citizens want and deserve to be involved!

Statement from the Ethical Society of Police

Police Chief John Hayden announced his retirement in September 2021. He had planned to step down in February, but because of delays in the search, Hayden had to put off leaving.