New St. Louis Chief Pledges To Decentralize Decision-Making


Daniel Isom, 41, who was named police chief of St. Louis yesterday, brings 20 years of police experience and a wall full of diplomas to bear against challenges that include a rising homicide rate and an FBI probe of the police department’s towing contract, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. To pick him, the commissioners reached below three lieutenant colonels vying for the spot. There were eight finalists; state law requires a selection from the inside. The man they pulled out is the city’s third black chief and presumably the best educated, with a doctorate and two master’s degrees.

Isom said he will decentralize decision-making. “I want to push resources down to the district level in the neighborhoods, so officers can rapidly respond to crime,” he said. The selection capped a six-week search caused by the abrupt departure July 25 of Chief Joe Mokwa. He left as the Post-Dispatch raised questions about the relationship between the department and St. Louis Metropolitan Towing, a private company that held the contract for vehicle impounds. The FBI is investigating. Mayor Francis Slay, who joins four appointees of the governor in making up the board that runs the department, called Isom the “clear choice.”


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