Dan Isom

Bill Greenblatt, UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon's office confirmed late Wednesday that former St. Louis Police Chief Daniel Isom was stepping down from his new job as director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

Nixon chose Isom last fall, amid the unrest in Ferguson. The former chief was only confirmed in January. Isom's decision to step down touched off unrest in the state Capitol, with allies blaming the governor for Isom's swift exit.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

(Updated at 4:29 p.m., Thurs., Jan. 22.)

The Missouri Senate voted today to confirm former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom as the head of the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

The vote was 31-2.

State senators had held up the vote because of questions related to a discrimination suit when he was St. Louis' chief of police.

Read our earlier story below:

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

At the second meeting of the Ferguson Commission, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson was supposed to make a multi-faceted presentation on policing – and what changes were being contemplated for his department.

But Dotson’s plans changed in a hurry. He faced intense public antagonism at Monday’s meeting, which focused on the relationship between citizens and police.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (right) and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley (left) meet the press on Friday. Slay told reporters that police and protesters are talking in advance of a grand jury decision regarding Ferguson Police officer Darren Wil
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

With the St. Louis region on edge before a grand jury decides Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson’s fate, the leaders of St. Louis and St. Louis County are preparing for protests. 

Appearing before dozens of reporters in Clayton, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said that there have been talks between police officials and protests groups.

Ferguson public safety press conference, 11-11-14. Belmar, Dotson, Ron Johnson, Isom, Bret Johnson, Replogle
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has pledged zero tolerance for violence in anticipation of protests when the grand jury investigating the August shooting death of Michael Brown releases its decision later this month. But he and law enforcement officials at a Tuesday press conference made it clear that they want to protect both protesters and others' safety and property. 

An audience member shows Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III a rubber bullet wound that he says he received during unrest in the north St. Louis County city. A forum sponsored by St. Louis Public Radio became heated, with ire being directed at Knowles.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

A forum Thursday evening peering into Ferguson’s longstanding tensions as well as the St. Louis region’s racial divisions became angry and heated, with most of a crowd’s ire directed at the town’s mayor.

Audience members expressed searing criticism of Ferguson’s governance and leadership, both of which have come under fire since one of the Ferguson's police officers shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Dan Isom, left, is introduced by Gov. Jay Nixon as the new Missouri public safety director.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has nominated former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom to be the state’s new public-safety director, a move that will put Isom in charge of a number of diverse state agencies – from the Highway Patrol to the Gaming Commission.

Isom served 24 years on the St. Louis police force, and retired as chief 18 months ago. He holds doctoral degrees in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he has served as a professor for the past year.

Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

What lessons can be learned from the killing of Michael Brown and its aftermath in Ferguson?

For three hours Wednesday night, several panels discussed that question and more at “A community in turmoil,” a symposium at Harris-Stowe State University. Not surprisingly, given the setting, a lot of the answers had to do with education, on campus and on the streets.

And in many cases, speakers said it will be the young teaching the old, not the other way around.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The praise was widespread, and the plaques and gifts many on Tuesday as local, state and federal law enforcement agencies gathered at the headquarters of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to pay tribute to Chief Dan Isom.

Isom is retiring in January to take a position with the criminology department at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Isom, who has been chief since October 2008, has his bachelor's, masters and doctorate from the school.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners met for the first time since the retirement announcement of Police Chief Dan Isom.  Foremost on the boards’ agenda was establishing a process for vetting and interviewing potential candidates for chief.

Commissioner Richard Gray says the board plans to take a number of steps, similar to those taken when hiring a corporate CEO.  Including such things as a psychological examination to determine leadership skills, looking at old tax returns, and also engaging the public.

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