Who Will Be The Next St. Louis Police Chief?

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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – St. Louis Police Chief, Dan Isom, confirmed months of rumors, Monday.  The University of Missouri-St. Louis announced the hiring of Isom as a faculty member in the Criminology Department.

Isom will leave the police department in January, after 4 years as chief and 24 years on the force.

Isom admitted he`d had more than one offer to take another job.

‘I don`t want to be the chief in Baltimore or Denver.  I want to remain in my community.  So this is great for me,’ he said.  ‘It’s a good opportunity for mean and I think it’s a good opportunity for the city,’ Isom said.  ‘Change and new ideas [are] always good.’

By state statute, the next chief must live in the city, and already be on the force, with at least the rank of captain.  That leaves a list of 22.  Police sources tell Fox 2, only 3 people, maybe 4, have a real shot at becoming St. Louis’s 34th Chief.

Sources told Fox 2, of 4 eligible women, Captain Mary Warnecke, was the strongest candidate, but still a long shot.

Sources said the top 3 appeared to be: Lt. Colonel Alfred Adkins, part of the only father-son team, to achieve that lofty rank in department history, but would have to move back into the city to take the job; Lt. Col. Lawrence O`Toole, like Adkins, is an FBI academy grad, with more than 25 years on the force; and Capt. Sam Dotson, now serving as City Operations Manager, is a close ally of the mayor.   

‘It`s going to be a board decision.  It`s not going to be me telling them what we need to do,’ Mayor Francis Slay at the Isom announcement.  

Still, sources said Dotson might have the inside track.

Neither Isom nor Slay, endorsed anyone publicly.

The mayor denied there was a short list.

‘Someone will come in and further the progress we`ve made in the last 4 years,’ Isom said.

‘Somebody [who`s] got leadership ability,’ Mayor Slay said.  ‘Somebody who`s going to be tough on crime; really tough on crime and really be aggressive.’

Police Board President, Richard Gray, said though the board could not consider candidates from outside St. Louis or even outside of the department, the pool was strong.  

‘When you talk about the years of experience these individuals are going to be bringing to the table, you can`t ask for much more than that.  Look at from this perspective, that`s where Chief Isom came from; pretty good pool,’ Gray said.

Gray says the governor-appointed police board, currently with 4 members including being Mayor Slay, will set up a selection process, then possibly pick the new chief within 30 days.  

Dotson confirmed his interest in the post to Fox 2 but would not comment further.

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