St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson out on Krewson's first full da -

St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson out on Krewson's first full day

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV
ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( -

Sam Dotson has retired as St. Louis Police Chief, new Mayor Lyda Krewson announced on Monday.

Dotson, 47, is a 23-year veteran of the St. Louis Police Department, and began serving as chief in December 2012.

"The chief and I had a chance to talk about the future of the Department, and he made the decision to retire," Krewson said. "I am grateful to Chief Dotson for his service and commitment to the people of the City of St. Louis." 

Krewson announced that Lt. Colonel and Assistant Police Chief Larry O'Toole will serve as interim police chief, and at a search will begin immediately to find a new Police Chief and Director of Public Safety.

Krewson told News 4 that Dotson was not forced out, "I wouldn't say I was displeased with his leadership. You know you have a new administration and want to go in a different direction. He served the city very well in the last four and a half years as the chief."

The news of Dotson's retirement came as a surprise to some, but not to others who were wanting to see new leadership.

President of the Board of Aldermen, Louis Reed, said, "I was not surprised that it happened. Although I can't speak for the mayor there's obviously a need for some new direction. The people of St. Louis are calling out for some new direction and innovative ideas."

Dotson released the following statement on Wednesday afternoon: 

This morning I met with our City's new Mayor to discuss the future of our City and the Police Department.

The conversation was good and during that conversation I offered to retire and remain involved as a consultant with the City of St. Louis to accomplish two things.  First, to support our City and second to allow the new Mayor to begin to establish her own team. 

I am optimistic and hopeful about the future of our City and our Police Department.

As I transition to my new role, I have the utmost respect for all of those who wear the badge and the uniform. It was my honor and pleasure to have led the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for over four years and to have worn the uniform for 22 years.

The search for a new chief is already drawing recommendations from aldermen.

"We need a police chief who realizes how critical it is to focus on reducing violent crime in the city," said former Alderman Antonio French.

"We really need to be looking at people who have a record at being innovative," say Alderwoman Megan Green.

This will mark the first time the city can look at candidates for the chief's position outside of the department after a state rule change several years ago that gave control of the police completely to City Hall.

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