ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Mayor Lyda Krewson and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards have named 30 year veteran officer John Hayden as the new St. Louis police chief, but not everyone is sure about the choice.
John Chasnoff, co-chair of the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression, says hiring an internal candidate brings with it some baggage.
“Chief Hayden has a reputation for being a far and decent person. We’re going to be pushing him to take the department in a new direction and we hope that he’s responsive to hearing that from the community,” he says.
Chasnoff says Chief Hayden’s promise to build trust in the community is great, but not if that trust is used to gather information to arrest more people and put them in jail.
State Representative Bruce Franks Jr., also a protest leader, says he thinks now-Chief Hayden was the best choice of the six finalists. But outside of those six, Franks says there were other applicants he would’ve preferred.
“Melron Kelly from Columbia, South Carolina. We’re talking bout someone who helped implement the 21st century policing recommendations by president Obama, someone who turned that apartment around, who truly cared about community policing as well as enforcement,” he says.