About a month after announcing he would run for mayor, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson has pulled his hat out of the ring, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. “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,” Dotson said. “Crime is the No. 1 issue in our city. To combat it, we need less politics, not more. We need fewer divisions and more collaboration.” Dotson, who has been police chief since December 2012, said he would not step down as police chief while he campaigned, a stance that rankled his boss, longtime Mayor Francis Slay.
Slay, who said this year he would not run again, had called on Dotson to resign his law enforcement post. Some political observers said Slay might fire him as chief. A 2013 state law prohibits firing a police chief without cause. Supporters of the law said it was intended to protect chiefs from politics. “Setting aside his own ambition for the good of our city demonstrates his strong character,” Slay said. “I look forward to working with him to unite our city around an agenda to make all neighborhoods safer.”