ST. LOUIS – St. Louis City’s new police chief begins his job Monday, January 9.

This is the first time in the department’s 200-plus year history, St. Louis has hired a chief from outside the department. Robert Tracy was the police chief in Wilmington, Delaware. He has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience.

He’s originally from the Bronx, and said he’s helped lower crime rates everywhere he’s been. Furthermore, he’s worked for the New York Police Department, Chicago Police Department, and then his most recent post in Wilmington, Delaware.  

The 58-year-old shared that he has a history of addressing the problems that have given St. Louis a reputation of being one of America’s most dangerous cities. Tracy comes to a department with a high turnover rate and officers responding to fewer calls.  

The Police Officer’s Association reported the department is down more than 200 officers, losing 13 every month.

Tracy explained that he wants to return to full strength and restore morale.

“If you set up an organization where they’re proud in what they’re doing, and they believe in the mission and the community trust is there, it starts to be a groundswell of building up morale -which helps in the long run with recruiting more police officers.”

Tracy beat out more than 40 candidates who applied for the position, including the Interim Chief and Internal Candidate Michael Sack.