Amidst the holiday season, St. Louis underwent a new change within its police department. After a nationwide search, community meetings, and an intense interviewing process, a new Chief of Police was chosen. Among the six finalists was Major John Hayden, a 30-year veteran of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
For the first time, in a long time, the vigorous process allowed the community to participate in who the city’s next chief would be. Hand-picked for the position, Mayor Lyda Krewson and Public Safety Director, Jimmie Edwards announced the decision on December 28.
With St. Louis coming off the heels of weeks of protesting, it was imperative for the city to get this right. As the fight for racial equity throughout the city is still underway, one can only hope choosing an African-American Chief would be a step in the right direction.
Though, he is a veteran of the department, what do we really know about our new chief? Well, DELUX did some digging and here are six things you should know about Colonel John Hayden.
1. He was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri
2. He is the 4th African American to hold the position since the 1991 when the first African American was appointed.
3. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
4. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Washington University and a Masters Degree in Management from Fontbonne University.
5. He has commanded the North Patrol Division since 2015. He has also held several administrative positions including commander over Internal Affairs (2007 – 2013) and was the executive aide to former police chief Joe Mokwa (2001-2007).
6. He’s been married for 28-years and has three daughters.
As he settles into his new role, we are excited to see what changes come about during his tenure. Hopefully, his appointment is the first step in not just bridging the racial gap within the department, but it repairs the deep-rooted scars within the community as well.