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St. Louis Front Page presents St. Louis CitySide, an overview of the City Government of Saint Louis. From time to time, we will take an indepth look at many of the projects in which the city is involved and how these projects will affect residents and visitors.

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Police Commissioner John Hayden
Police Commissioner John Hayden, image courtesy St. Louis Mayor's Office
John Hayden Appointed Police Commissioner
ST. LOUIS, MO, ( - Mayor Lyda Krewson and Director of Public Safety Jimmie Edwards have appointed John Hayden as police commissioner, effective immediately.

Hayden is a 30-year veteran of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. During that span, he has risen through the department, earning the rank of lieutenant in 1995, captain in 2006, and major in 2015. His most recent position was commander of the Police Department's North Patrol Division. Between 2006 and 2013, he served as commander of the Internal Affairs Division.

In a release, Mayor Krewson said, "John Hayden has served St. Louis with honor and distinction for 30 years. He has a great track record building trust in the communities in which he's served. At this very critical time in our City, John will continue that exemplary service as our police chief."

"John Hayden and his contributions to the St. Louis Police Department and to the community are respected and held in high esteem by a broad cross-section of the St. Louis community, including his peers in the law enforcement community," Director of Public Safety Jimmie Edwards said. "He treats all people, whether law enforcement or the accused, with respect. I believe that his informed concern for our City will be a great asset in closing the trust gap between the police and citizens."

"I know that our Police Department must change from within in order to earn the support of our citizens," Edwards added.

Hayden, 55, holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Washington University, a master's degree in management from Fontbonne University, and has earned more than half of the credits required for a law degree from St. Louis University School of Law.

As police commissioner, Hayden will earn $153,000 a year. He will be in charge of a department of 1,300 sworn officers, 400 civilian employees, and a yearly budget of $170 million.

During the interview process, Hayden said he is committed to community policing. His vision is of a Police Department that is accountable to the people of St. Louis, and a department that views citizens as partners working hand-in-hand with officers to combat crime, he said.

"I know how our agency functions from the executive level. I know the importance of ethical decision-making and maintaining the highest level of integrity from the top down," Hayden said. "Our agency needs to make certain that we are providing culturally-sensitive officers with the training and tactics to ensure their safety as well as the safety of the citizens in our community."

The lifelong St. Louis resident said his crime reduction strategy will be a holistic one, incorporating enforcement, community outreach, analysis and redistribution of resources, a more in-depth analysis of calls for service and crime trends, expanding the use of technology, early intervention and prevention, and more training for officers.

"Addressing crime in the City of St. Louis will require a police commissioner who is trusted by our citizens," Hayden said. "I have earned their trust by being present and making myself available, by setting up a mobile office on the streets in our most challenged neighborhoods, by having outdoor roll calls in struggling neighborhoods, by attending community meetings and seeking feedback, but most importantly by walking the streets and talking to our citizens face-to-face."

In appointing Hayden as police commissioner, Krewson and Edwards thanked the more than 40 people who applied for the position, including the final six candidates who underwent rigorous testing and participated in a public town hall.

Krewson and Edwards thanked Lt. Col. Lawrence O'Toole, in particular, who served as police commissioner since April following the retirement of former commissioner Sam Dotson.

"Larry O'Toole stepped up and took on that role because of his commitment to the department and the people of St. Louis," Krewson said. "We appreciate all he's done for this City."

St. Louis Is Joining The Federal Smart Cities Initiative
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, October 22, 2017 - The City of St. Louis is joining the federal Smart Cities Initiative, an effort that encourages cities across the country to use technology to modernize the way the City tackles everyday problems and improve the quality of life for all of its residents.

The Smart City efforts in St. Louis will focus on achieving four main goals: improving public safety, making City services more efficient, equitable delivery of City services, and expanding internet access for every St. Louisan.

Smart City technology has been used in other cities to increase government transparency, predict crime before it happens and reduce costs while improving the quality of services like trash pick up.

In St. Louis' Smart City initiative, Mayor Lyda Krewson said bridging what's known as the "digital divide" will be a critical component.

"In today'"s digital world, it is imperative that all of our citizens have access to affordable, reliable internet access and the necessary training to effectively utilize the web," Krewson said. "It is my belief that digital access should be a public good, one that is not conditional on a person's income, race or zip code."

In launching this effort, St. Louis will begin a search to hire a Chief Technology Officer and establish a Smart City Commission and a series of advisory groups made up of residents and stakeholders. The Chief Technology Officer will be responsible for leading the day-to-day operations of the Smart City Platform and will provide expert advice and technical support. The task force will develop a strategic plan that will guide the City's efforts.

"Every St. Louisan deserves the best from their government and should expect their leaders to look for new ways to tackle our most pressing issues," Krewson said. "The Smart Cities Initiative gives us the opportunity to modernize our government and rethink how we deliver city services through increased data sharing and collaboration among city agencies and community leaders. Developing this platform increases our government's ability to improve access to city services for every resident."

In the interest of best serving the needs of residents, the City will not entertain any proposals from vendors until such a time that the Chief Technology Officer is hired.

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