Sam Dotson

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Dept.)

St. Louis City is currently ranked as the fourth most dangerous city in the nation by CQ Press, based on FBI reports of the number of crimes committed in 2011. But according to St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Sam Dotson and University of Missouri-St. Louis criminology professor Richard Rosenfeld, those numbers fail to tell the whole story.

(via Flickr/alancleaver_2000)

It’s been a good first six months on the job for St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson when it comes to crime numbers.

Compared to the same period last year, overall crime in the city is down more than 7 percent in the first half of 2013. Crimes against persons, like homicides and assaults, are down 20 percent. And most crimes are trending well below five-year averages, though Dotson says he is concerned about an uptick in burglaries in recent weeks.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The bomb and arson units in St. Louis city and County are joining forces on July 1 - the latest merger between the two largest police departments in the region.

The 10 officers will still be employees of their own departments, but will now respond to calls throughout the region in two, eight-hour shifts. The arrangement, said St. Louis city police chief Sam Dotson, should almost eliminate overtime costs.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Advocates for bicyclists and pedestrians say they want to make 2013 the year Missouri passes a law banning texting while driving for everyone behind the wheel.

But those advocates, along with mass transit, city police and Missouri Department of Transportation officials also pushed all users of the road to take personal responsibility as they kicked off the second annual Safe Roads for All campaign on Monday.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The move to a new building for the St. Louis Police Department is going to be more expensive than first thought.
 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that bids came in more than $1.6 million over expectations. Now, the move will be delayed until early next year - nearly a year later than the original estimate.
 

(via Flickr/alancleaver_2000)

Quite a bit - city leaders say.

Crews from four St. Louis city departments are flooding a north city neighborhood this week in an ongoing effort to tackle its crime problem.

The influx of resources from the streets, building, forestry and health departments follows two weeks of stepped-up police presence known as “hot-spot policing."

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department)

Sam Dotson is the new chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

He comes to the position after spending about twenty years with the Department.

Dotson joined host Don Marsh for a wide-ranging discussion.  They talked about taking the reins of the St. Louis Police Department as it prepares to transition to local control and about making the force one which is fully up to speed on 21st century policing practices.

(Photo provided by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department)

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officially has a new chief.

Sam Dotson has been with the department since Oct. 1993, including time as the chief of staff to the Board of Police Commissioners, and as an aide to Mayor Francis Slay.

Dotson takes the helm of the 1,300-person department at a time of great change. But he says his first priority will always be reducing crime.

"We're going to end 2012 with crime being down just under 13 percent. That's a significant decrease, and the decreases have been happening year over year," he said.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The new chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says he wants to implement a civilian review board in the city of St. Louis.

Sam Dotson officially took over as chief on Tuesday. The former operations director for Mayor Francis Slay replaces Dan Isom, who retired.

A preliminary review of the St. Louis corrections department finds "numerous weaknesses" in the management, physical structure and operations of the two jails the department oversees.

Six inmates have escaped from the facilities in the last 15 months. Three of the four escapes took place within five months of each other.

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