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New St. Louis Police Chief Tracy Is First Outsider In Job In 214 Years

For the first time in its 214-year history, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has a chief from outside its ranks. Mayor Tishaura Jones said that Robert Tracy, chief of the Wilmington, De., police department, will take command on Jan 9, reports St. Louis Public Radio. “Chief Tracy is dedicated to being a visible, accessible chief to the communities that he and his officers served,” Jones said. “He has a proven track record of reducing violent crime. He’s done so in multiple cities, and I believe he can do it here.” Tracy, a native of the Bronx, started his career as a New York City patrol officer in 1984, rising to the rank of captain. He retired after 23 years and worked in private security, returning to policing in 2011 as a commander in Chicago. He resigned from the Chicago Police Department in 2016 and was named chief in Wilmington in 2017.


While in Delaware, Tracy oversaw a 27 percent drop in crime overall, including a 50 percent reduction in shootings. He said he wanted to leave Wilmington while things were going well, rather than under duress.

“There’s a lot of places I could have applied to, and this was the only place I did,” Tracy said. “I saw how much hope was here.” Tracy’s appointment in Wilmington was the first time that department had hired an outsider in its more than 250-year history. He plans to learn about St. Louis by visiting all of its 79 neighborhoods.

“I look forward to getting to know the citizens of this great city. And I know together, we will do great things,” he said. Jones and Board of Aldermen President Megan Green praised Interim Police Chief Michael Sack, who was in command on Oct. 24,when a former student shot and killed two people at the building that houses Central Visual and Performing Arts and Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience high schools. Seven others were injured.

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