ST. LOUIS – The City of St. Louis officially appointed Charles Coyle to the role of public safety director on Thursday after serving on an interim basis for several months.
Coyle had been the interim public safety director since Dr. Dan Isom stepped down from the position last winter. Coyle will now serve as public safety director full-time.
Coyle has served with the St. Louis Fire Department for several decades, embracing leadership roles as deputy fire chief and fire marshal.
In early July, Coyle and other St. Louis public safety leaders addressed procedures behind the city’s 911 systems dispatch operations and emergency response times after intense storms. One woman died as a tree fell on her car as she waited out the storm, and thousands were left without power for days.
Coyle said the city was dealing with more than double its normal call volume amid the storms in addition to a shortage of dispatchers. The public safety department has looked into why some reported not being able to reach 911. According to reports from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the City of St. Louis is hopeful to fill gaps with increased pay for dispatchers.
“Since becoming interim director earlier this year, Chief Coyle has tackled significant challenges head on, including modernization of 911 services,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “While this search began as a national one, Chief Coyle’s extensive experience in City government has positioned him well to implement innovative plans and solutions. I look forward to continuing to work alongside Chief Coyle in this role and am excited about the detail-oriented, community-driven eye he brings to this job.”
Modernizing 911 remains a top priority for Chief Coyle
“Throughout my tenure in the fire service, I’ve witnessed firsthand the intrinsic power of collaboration and unity in purpose. Each day spent in the line of duty has only fortified my passion for safeguarding our communities, a commitment I carry forward into this new role.” said Chief Coyle. “Every unit, from our police officers to our firefighters, EMS personnel, 911 dispatchers, and beyond, forms an integral part of a system committed to preserving the security and safety of our city’s residents and guests.”
Coyle is a prior member of the Black Chiefs Association, and a current member of the St. Louis Black Chiefs Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He is also a founding committee member of the St. Louis Fire Department Life Saving Foundation.
For a closer look at Coyle’s career accomplishments and work as interim public safety director, click here.