ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden will resign on Feb. 23, which is the 35th anniversary of his starting work with the department.
Hayden has been chief of the department since he was appointed by then-Mayor Lyda Krewson in December 2017 after he served in numerous positions in the department.
“This decision was carefully and prayerfully considered by myself and my family and we all believe that it is time to pass the proverbial baton,” Hayden said at a news conference. “I want everyone to know that serving as the 35th police chief of the City of St. Louis has been a honor of a lifetime.”
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones thanked Hayden for his service and said a nationwide search for his successor would focus on candidates experienced in 21st-century policing methods. The process will include an online resident survey and public input sessions in October to determine what qualities city residents consider important for the new chief, she said in a news release. Listening sessions and a public town hall are also planned in the coming months.
Residents can go to the city’s website to take the survey about the search for a new chief.
Jones’ statement said Hayden had been an ally in efforts to address root causes of crime in the city, supporting the redirection of funds to critical services such as affordable housing, improving 911 response times, and connecting mental health professionals to emergency calls.
Jones’ administration is committed to using new tactics to continue improving public safety, she said.
MetroSTL.com staff contributed to this report.