CLAYTON, Mo. – St. Louis County has a new police chief after Mary Barton unexpectedly stepped down last summer. The Board of Police Commissioners has announced that Kenneth Gregory will be the county’s next chief. He was appointed acting chief after Barton stepped down in July.

“Chief Gregory is calm under pressure and feels passionately about the Department and its commitment to excellence and the St. Louis County Community,” states the Board of Police Commissioners.

There have been allegations of racism and discrimination within the department. Gregory’s predecessor, Mary Barton, retired in July after accepting a $290,000 payout from the county related to a discrimination complaint she filed with the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

That complaint was dismissed as part of a settlement agreement. Barton faced scrutiny during her brief stint as chief for how she handled racial issues.

FOX 2 reporter Mike Colombo sat down with Gregory in August. He said that fighting crime requires resources and respect. That means officers build trust in the communities they serve. He doesn’t just want more officers, but better-trained officers to handle the changing culture and demands of policing.

Gregory began his career with the St. Louis County Police in 1979 after being hired as a recruit. He worked his way through the ranks to become chief. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and
is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.