Chief Belmar speaks on-camera for the first time since Officer S - KMOV.com

Chief Belmar speaks on-camera for the first time since Officer Snyder’s death

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St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar holding a press conference (Credit: KMOV) St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar holding a press conference (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – St. Louis County Police Chief, Jon Belmar, said he is living his worst nightmare after the death of an officer in the line of duty.

33-year-old Blake Snyder was shot and killed last Thursday morning while responding to a disturbance call at the end of his overnight shift.

“The biggest fear of any chief anywhere is the loss of a police officer…He was among the very best we always try to recruit for the St. Louis County Police Department,” said Belmar.

Chief Belmar said he’s concerned about the toll Snyder’s death is taking on his other officers, especially those who worked closely with Officer Snyder.

“One officer told me, ‘It’s tough walking into work, into the station,’ but once she gets past that, she’s okay…we need to have the ability to grieve.”

With a job that it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Chief Belmar said it has been difficult for officers, himself included, to find time to grieve.

“As the chief, in some ways I look at these officers, many of them are younger than my own children, and that’s tough.”

Chief Belmar said he has met with Officer Snyder’s family twice, and both times he emphasized they will never be alone in this as they will always be a part of the St. Louis County Police Department family.

“I think the most important thing on everyone’s mind is how do we help that young wife, young child as they move through the loss of a loved one?”

Chief Belmar said he recently talked to St. Louis County Executive, Steve Stenger, about wanted two offers per car in some precincts. Currently, all precincts only have one officer per car. The St. Louis County Police Department would need to hire about 500 additional officers, there are currently about 900, to have two per car. However, officials believe the move is not cost-effective.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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