Trust: That’s what some St. Louis County residents say they want in new police chief

Several at the meeting spoke in support of Lt. Col. Troy Doyle, a popular choice for chief. St. Louis County police Officer Shanette Hall talked about racism she experienced as the only black female officer in her precinct, and how Doyle, who did not know her at the time, stepped in to help her.

Mayors and council members from such North County municipalities of Jennings, Dellwood, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Beverly Hills, Cool Valley, Moline Acres and Pine Lawn planned to send a letter this week to the police board outlining their support for Doyle.

Many praised the board for its new approach to hiring a chief, but also pushed for more.

“Transparency should not be limited to the commissioners asking the public what are the two or three attributes the board should consider,” said John Bowman Sr., president of the St. Louis County NAACP. “It should also include a public release of the selection process and criteria and the ability of the public to ask questions and to hear directly from candidates.”

Four of the five police board members are new. Chairman and retired Missouri Supreme Court Judge William Ray Price Jr., a Republican, and vice chairman and lawyer Michelle Schwerin, an independent, were voted in by the county council on Nov. 5.

Dr. Laurie Punch, an associate professor of surgery at Washington University, and Thomasina Hassler, an adjunct assistant professor of social science at Harris-Stowe State University, were voted in by the St. Louis County Council on Nov. 26. Both are Democrats.