ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — A longtime critic of local control of the St. Louis Police Department is raising critical questions about the selection of the new Chief, Sam Dotson.

Sgt. Gary Wiegert, a former President of the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association, says the incoming chief has been too closely aligned with Mayor Francis Slay’s goals of slashing pension costs.

“The biggest concern I have is over the pension,” Wiegert said. “I know that Sam supported the firemen being set up with a separate pension system outside of state over site, and I’m very afraid he will support that for the St. Louis police department.”

Wiegert says he’s also concerned the Chief elect Dotson has spent more time behind a desk than running down alleys chasing criminals, raising questions about whether he’ll stick up for police when they do their jobs.

  • New St.Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson talks about his new position and what he thinks should be done about school safety.

Dotson refuted those accusations Tuesday on KMOX saying he relates to their fears of the unknown and the possibility of “political influence”.

“They’re worried that somehow, some elected officials may try and interfere with there job. And I reassured them and I’ll continue to reassure them, that is not going to happen on my watch.”

Dotson says he’s not interested in pensions or politics, and all the major changes that go with local control will be vetted in public forums.

He also claims he absolutely knows what it’s like to fight crime on the street, and says he’ll be taking a closer looks at getting more uniforms walking the streets in neighborhoods and also at getting a good mixture of one-and-two officer cars.

Dotson has spent the last few years working at City Hall for Mayor Slay. He officially becomes chief with the new year.

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