Community Members Want a Say in the New Police Chief

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It’s been almost two weeks since St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson announced his retirement, and an activist group is calling for an open process in picking a new chief. John Chasnoff of the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression says the community has something to say about who should be chief.

“What we’re hearing from the community is that we need to move away from the arrest and incarcerate model. It’s got us over flowing prisons and disrupting communities and really hasn’t solved our public safety problems,” he says.

Chasnoff says his organization is lobbying for a chief who can mend fences with the African American community.

“I think we need a chief who is not tone deaf to some of the racial inequalities that we have here in St. Louis and is open to the community. If we have a chief that wants to operate behind closed doors and stick with a militaristic vision of what police can and should be, I think they will be in for further trouble,” he says.

A spokesman for Mayor Krewson says the mayor is compiling a list of names of people to sit on a search committee. The goal is to get a “diverse cross section of the community.”

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