St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson is retiring after more than four years on the job, new Mayor Lyda Krewson said yesterday on her first full day in office, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Dotson, 47, has been chief since 2013. He met with city leaders yesterday, and they came to a mutual agreement that he retire, Krewson said.“We were talking about the future of the police department and he made the decision to retire,” Krewson said. “This will allow us to turn the page and begin anew here.”
Dotson he will serve as a consultant to the city for a year. His salary will be $129,000, the same salary he was paid as chief. He served 22 years with the police department. Deputy Chief Lawrence O’Toole becomes interim police chief. Krewson said she was interested in a national search for a new chief but would not exclude internal candidates. She made public safety the centerpiece of her campaign, and in her inauguration speech Tuesday said she would “rebuild the frayed relationships between law enforcement and our community.” Krewson, a longtime alderman, first won election to the board in 1997, two years after her husband was fatally shot during a carjacking with their two young children in the car. Dotson was selected from a field of 11 candidates in 2012. He announced in October that he was going to run for mayor, but withdrew a month later. Then-Mayor Francis Slay pressured him to resign if he wanted to run for office, saying he would not tolerate a part-time police chief.