Chief John Hayden was sworn in on December 28, 2017. (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -
New St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden is only just a few days on the job but is gearing up to make an immediate impact in his new role.
News 4’s Cory Stark sat down with Chief Hayden to ask him his plan for addressing rising violent crime in St. Louis.
One proposed option for cutting down crime is increasing police presence in certain neighborhoods. Chief Hayden says this will be the case, as well as leaning on new technology.
“Some of those units will be undercover units. But, a vast majority of them are in marked cars,” said Chief Hayden. “In addition to that, we are also going to install a lot more camera technology.”
Last year, St. Louis was rocked by the Jason Stockely verdict and many were concerned on how the police handled the situation.
“If I had to give a grade, I guess I’d probably give us a C,” said Hayden on how the St. Louis Police Department handled the outcome of the verdict. “There were things that worked well and things that didn’t work so well that we got a lot of complaints about. You certainly have a first amendment right to protest, the challenge is that happy balance where people’s rights are allowed but not at the expense of quality of life of others.”
Hayden does agree that more eyes need to be on every single officer involved shooting.
“Absolutely, more eyes are good. I think it restores public trust when more eyes are looking at it and it's just not us,” said Chief Hayden. “That's a recommendation at this point, and I embrace that concept in having outside agencies looking at our cases. If there is nothing to hide, why can't everybody see it. I'm one hundred percent behind that.”
Chief Hayden says right now the Police Department is 115 officers short. He hopes the passing of Proposition P will help bring in new officers and help retain current officers.
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