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Police Chief Dotson Pledges More Transparency, Social Media Use

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Chief Sam Dotson (KMOX/file photo)

Chief Sam Dotson (KMOX/file photo)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Keeping his officers and the public informed is one of his big goals, says St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson.

“We blog, we use Facebook,” he said Monday on KMOX’s Hancock and Kelly show, adding that the goal is transparency. “[Citizens] have a right to know, and we have a responsibility to tell them about what we’re doing, what’s working, and what’s not working.”

Dotson says that goal of transparency extends beyond the public, to talks with officers about things like local control, hot spot policing, special gun courts and the future.

“In this age of instant news cycle, 24-hours-a-day, we’re pushing out as much information as we can,” the chief said. He didn’t elaborate further but told KMOX’s Michael Kelley he will unveil new crime-fighting initiatives this summer.

Meanwhile, the officers who shot and killed a man who allegedly turned a gun on them during Mardi Gras Saturday remain on administrative duty and are speaking with a psychologist. It’s standard proceedure, and Dotson continues to stand by their action.

“Every day, especially at night, we ask officers to go out and do a dangerous job: run down alleys, chasing kids with guns. I’ve done it for 18 years and so I’m always very cognizant of my safety but now I’m asking others to go out and do this on their own. That’s the thing that wakes me up at night.”

The chief says the officers involved are two veterans: one with 22 years of service, the other with 33 years. He says his concern is for them and they will be back to work soon.

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