Tim Fitch

Ferguson Police Chief Delrish Moss greets residents, supporters and protesters at the city police department hours after being sworn in as chief.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When Delrish Moss saw the turmoil and chaos unfold in Ferguson, it hit close to home.

Before he was sworn in on Monday as Ferguson’s top law enforcement officer, Moss spent several decades in the Miami Police Department. He said the unrest that followed Michael Brown’s death was reminiscent of what he’s witnessed firsthand in Miami.

St. Louis County Police form a line in front of protesters on Tuesday. They were put in charge of securing protests on Monday when St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger called a state of emergency.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 10 a.m. Friday with lifting of state of emergency. On a cloudless Tuesday night on West Florissant Avenue, the mood was relatively calm. A few dozen protesters, onlookers and media milled about on a parking lot – a far cry from chaos that struck the thoroughfare on Sunday night.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon)

Updated with additional quotes from Chief Belmar.

A 27-year veteran of the St. Louis County police has been selected as the department's eighth chief.

"I am pleased to announce the selection of Lt. Col. Jon Belmar as the new chief of the St. Louis County police," police board chairman Roland Corvington announced this morning, after about an hour of closed-door deliberation.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch may need to make a little room on his wall. 

That’s because Fitch has received two resolutions from the St. Louis County Council celebrating his service – under very different circumstances. The one he received Tuesday commemorates his retirement, which takes effect Friday. (Fitch is starting a consulting company to advise law enforcement groups and companies.)

Flickr | alancleaver_2000

Crime in the parts of St. Louis County covered by the county’s police department dropped 7.4 percent between 2012 and 2013, according to numbers released by the department today.

This is the fifth straight year for a decrease - something St. Louis County Chief of Police Tim Fitch called a "great accomplishment."  The latest figures bring the total level of crime to its lowest point since 1969.

Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 2:15 p.m.,  Friday, Dec. 13

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch has been using his blog to make blockbuster declarations lately, but perhaps none was as stunning as Friday’s post in which he announced his retirement as of February.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Although billed as a “Urban Crime Summit,’’ one of the key crime statistics offered by the four-day event’s host, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, affected rural Missouri as well.

Missouri’s per-capita crime rate is the 9th highest in the nation, Koster said in his opening address at Wednesday’s session, the third day of the Summit – and the first of two days in St. Louis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The controversy over a subcontract for St. Louis County’s crime lab took another turn on Monday when St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch accused unnamed “political researchers” of digging up dirt about him and his department.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The St. Louis County Council has passed a resolution offering support for St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch, who's been in the middle of a well publicized controversy over a subcontract for the county’s crime lab.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: After a string of published reports examining contracting for the county's new crime lab, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley has thrown his support behind adding subcontractors to the county’s conflict of interest policy.

Dooley told the St. Louis County Council on Tuesday that “recent events outlined in the media relative to a subcontractor in the police crime lab have raised questions about the interpretation of St. Louis County’s conflict of interest law.”

(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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: A minister and a civil rights group are credited with pulling together what’s being described as the first city-county effort to focus on addressing crime, building trust and reducing conflict among young people, and improving the quality of life in underserved communities.

Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch says arming school personnel should be considered when discussing ways to improve school safety.

Host Don Marsh talked with Fitch about his proposal, which he made a couple of days after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. 

Fitch acknowledged that there are serious concerns about his proposal but said he hasn’t heard any other ideas for how to address the lag time when someone starts shooting and police can respond.    

Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s estimated that there are more guns in America than people, and St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch is defending his idea that arming school personnel should be considered when discussing ways to improve school safety.

Speaking to St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh today, Fitch acknowledged that there are serious concerns about his proposal. 

But, the police chief also said he hasn’t heard any other ideas for how to address what he said is a critical gap in time when someone starts shooting and police can respond.    

Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Both St. Louis city and county police are stepping up patrols around schools following the shootings in Connecticut.

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch says the extra patrols began this afternoon and will remain in place until further notice.

Fitch says the department already has 31 school resource officers in districts around the county.

Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio

For the past year, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch and community organizations have held nearly two dozen town hall meetings to raise awareness of the heroin epidemic. Deaths from heroin overdoses continue to decline, but officials say they are seeing an uptick in some age groups.

Through September of this year there have been 45 heroin deaths in St. Louis County, that’s compared to 55 last year.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach sat down with Chief Fitch to talk about their efforts to go after heroin suppliers.

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St. Louis County Police are filling a law enforcement gap in Dellwood as efforts continue to disband the suburb's municipal police force. 

Dellwood's Mayor, Loretta Johnson, requested the county's help while eight of Dellwood's 16 police department positions remain vacant.

Flickr/jimbowen0306

Mo. legislative session begins today

Missouri’s special legislative session begins today and is focused primarily on an overhaul of Missouri’s tax credits. The plan would eliminate existing tax breaks for low-income seniors and disabled residents who live in rented homes. New incentives would be created for international cargo shippers at the St. Louis airport, computerized data centers, science and technology companies and the organizers of major amateur sporting events.

Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio

The use of heroin in the St. Louis area is at epidemic levels, according to law enforcement officials.

The number of heroin overdoses and deaths has doubled in the St. Louis County and city over the past four years. St. Louis County Chief of Police Tim Fitch said the drug is cheaper now and it can be snorted or smoked, instead of injected. He said it's no longer just an urban issue.