By ED FINKELSTEIN
The St. Louis Police Officers Association, the union representing over 1,100 St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers, is praising the selection of department veteran John Hayden as the city’s new police chief and has pledged to work closely with him to meet the law enforcement needs of St. Louis residents.
“Chief Hayden is widely regarded as a no-nonsense leader who is tough but fair; smart but compassionate,” said Association President Ed Clark. “The rank-and-file holds Chief Hayden in high regard and he has consistently shown a great deal of respect for our members and the union. This is a man we know we can work with. We also know that his selection will go a long way in restoring the community’s trust in the police department.”
Mayor Lyda Krewson and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards announced Hayden’s appointment as Police Commissioner and Chief of Police on Dec. 28. Hayden, a 30-year veteran of the department, had been the major in charge of the North Patrol Division. He was also a former commander of the Internal Affairs Division.
“Chief Hayden is one of those guys who always listens to every side of an issue and thoroughly considers the information he is provided with,” said Jeff Roorda, business manager for the Police Officers Association. “He’s been eminently fair in all of his dealings with the union but he is no pushover, not by any means. He can be counted on to do what he thinks is right for this city and this police department and that’s all any of us can ask for from our leaders.”
PRAISE FOR O’TOOLE
Both Roorda and Clark complimented interim Chief Larry O’Toole for a job well done during his tenure.
“Colonel O’Toole shepherded the department through a challenging chapter in its history, under the most difficult of circumstances. Larry showed his mettle and his leadership in stewarding this agency and we hope that he will stay on as assistant chief in order to ease the transition for Chief Hayden,” Clark said.