Dotson drops out of race for mayor - KMOV.com

Dotson drops out of race for mayor

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Chief Sam Dotson (Credit: KMOV) Chief Sam Dotson (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson announced Tuesday he will not run for mayor.

In early October, Dotson formally announced he was launching a mayoral bid.

Dotson released the following statement regarding his decision to end to his mayoral candidacy:

I love our city and feel privileged to serve it. I’ve worked to make our city better, fairer and safer for everyone. I started to run for mayor because I thought I could do even more for our city.

But, over the past month with the death of Officer Blake Snyder and seeing the great team work among law enforcement to keep everyone safe and secure during the presidential debate at Washington University, I did a lot of thinking. My fellow officers reminded me of why I became a police officer in the first place, the sense of purpose that comes with the job, and why I am so proud to lead the men and women of the St. Louis Police Department.

After giving this a great deal of thought, I decided I could best serve my city by staying on as chief, and not running for mayor. Crime is the number one issue in our city. To combat it, we need less politics, not more. We need fewer divisions and more collaboration. Instead of running for mayor, Mayor Slay urged me to focus on working with him to unite our city around a comprehensive plan to reduce the violence that is so corrosive to our city. This morning I told him I would. I am going to focus all of my time and effort leading the men and women of our police department, and bringing together people from all parts of our city and from all walks of life to redouble our efforts to make all of our neighborhoods safe.

As with everyone, there will come a time when it will be time for me to walk away from my job and my service to this department. But, that time is not today. As chief, I took an oath and have an obligation to both lead and stand up for the men and women of our department without distraction or other interests. That is going to be my focus.

So, I am ending my campaign for mayor. I want to thank everyone who encouraged me to run and supported my campaign. I am confident that when you hear why I made this decision, you will agree with it.

Hours after Dotson's announcement, Mayor Slay released the following statement: 

I am very happy that Sam Dotson will stay on as Chief of Police and focus all of his time and energy on reducing crime. Setting aside his own ambition for the good of our City demonstrates his strong character. I look forward to working with him to unite our City around an agenda to make all neighborhoods safer.

Ever since announcing, Dotson was under a great deal of political pressure to resign from his position. 17th Ward Alderman Joe Roddy was behind a resolution forcing the chief to step down.

"I thought he made the right decision. Obviously I disagree with his initial decision and that was not the time to gloat but to celebrate. With that idea behind him and he can focus his energy on making St. Louis a safer place," Roddy said. 

It should also be mentioned, board of aldermen president Lewis Reed is also in the running for mayor.

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