ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson is answering some of the criticism surrounding the eight-month-long effort to appoint a new police chief.

Former police chief Sam Dotson stepped down on Krewson’s first day in office in April.

It wasn’t until last week that North Patrol division commander John Hayden was promoted from within the department to become Dotson’s replacement.

The St. Louis Police Department has promoted Col. John Hayden to the rank of Police Chief, in St. Louis on December 28, 2017. Hayden, a 30-year veteran of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department was born and raised in St. Louis. For the first time in more than 150 years, St. Louis had the opprutunity to pick a police chief from outside of its own department but decided not to.

Col. John Hayden (Photo by St. Louis Metrolpolitian Police Department/UPI)

“I wish it would’ve been faster, let’s face it,” Krewson says. “I wish it would’ve been faster also. But, the most important thing was that we got the right guy on the job.”

“The fact that he was sitting right here doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have looked around,” she adds.

As chief, Krewson says Chief Hayden will be given free reign to address the city’s crime problem as he sees fit.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat that,” she says. “Our level of violence is not acceptable.”

The mayor estimates the nation-wide search cost the city up to $45,000.

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