St. Louis Police Chief Hayden to delay 2022 retirement

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Departmen
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Departmen(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Departmen)
Updated: Jan. 11, 2022 at 12:02 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Tuesday, St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said he will postpone his planned retirement this year as the search for his replacement continues.

In Sept. 2021, Hayden announced he would retire in February 2022 after 35 years on the force. He was appointed Chief of Police in 2017, replacing Acting Chief Lawrence O’Toole who took over when Sam Dotson retired.

Mayor Tishaura Jones previously said she’s looking to add more diversity to the department while residents and other city leaders want someone who’s qualified and will make a change.

Jones’ office released the statement on Hayden’s recent decision:

Today, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief John Hayden announced his intention to remain with the force past his original February retirement date. The search for the next police chief is still underway.

The Mayor does not have unilateral authority to restart the police chief’s search herself. That is up to the Department of Personnel and the St. Louis Civil Service Commission. The Mayor’s hope for the people of the City of St. Louis is that there is a fair and transparent application process to select the most qualified candidates. She views the Civil Service Commission’s concerns about the lack of virtual testing and marketing firms as valid.