St. Louis Mayor-elect Jones Appoints Public Safety Leaders, Successor As Treasurer
St. Louis Mayor-elect Tishaura Jones announced Thursday that former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom will serve as interim director of the Department of Public Safety, replacing Jimmie Edwards, who resigned last month.
Jones is also appointing Heather Taylor, a former St. Louis police sergeant and president of the Ethical Society of Police, as a special adviser to the public safety director.
And she named her deputy chief of staff, Adam Layne, to succeed her as treasurer. As mayor, Jones has the power to fill a vacancy in that office, which is responsible for managing the city’s financial portfolio as well as parking operations.
Isom returns to city service
After serving as St. Louis’ police chief from 2008 to 2013, Isom took on roles as Missouri’s director of the Department of Public Safety and a member of the Ferguson Commission. He’s also spent extensive time as a professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
“This work won’t happen overnight,” Jones said. “But I’m confident that under Director Isom’s and Sgt. Taylor’s guidance under my administration, we’ll be able to put the public back in public safety.”
Jones stressed that Isom’s selection is a temporary one, as the position is currently vacant, but he could be selected to fill the job permanently.
“I could not start this administration without a public safety director,” Jones said. “We will be conducting a national search. And if it’s so that they choose Dan and he stays, then that will be it.”
Jones also said that some of the ways to specifically “put the public back in public safety” include “declaring gun violence as a public health crisis and working with our flagship hospitals and universities to do so.”
“Crime and violence don’t stop at our borders, and neither should our solutions,” Jones said. “I plan on bringing our neighbors to the west and the east to the table. And lastly, we need to look at how we staff our public safety department, staffing with differently abled professionals so police aren’t the only answer when you dial 9-1-1.”
Layne sees city’s potential
“Our city is at a crossroads in more ways than one,” Layne said. “Couple the unique issues of St. Louis with the world trying to emerge from a pandemic, and I still see what I always see in St. Louis: potential.”
Layne has a bachelor’s degree in finance from George Washington University and a master’s in secondary education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. In addition to working in Jones’ office, Layne is a member of the St. Louis Board of Education. As part of Teach for America, he taught trigonometry and algebra at the Clyde C. Miller Career Academy.
“I’m ready to work for St. Louis and, more importantly, I’m ready to work with St. Louis,” he said.
Jones is slated to take the oath of office as mayor Tuesday.
Follow Jason on Twitter: @jrosenbaum