St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson announced his candidacy for the mayor of St. Louis Wednesday.

Dotson, a 23-year veteran of the St. Louis Metro Police Department was the former director of operations to Mayor Francis Slay. In a prepared statement, Dotson said he grew up in St. Louis and attended public schools as a child.

“I am out on the streets of our town day in and day out. What I’ve seen there is that our town needs real change," he said in the statement.

Earlier Wednesday, Slay said he would ask Police Chief Sam Dotson to resign from his current position if he decided to become a candidate for mayor.

In a statement from Slay's office, the mayor said while the law explicitly allows first responders to to seek public office, he said the city needs a full-time police chief.

"Chief Dotson should be completely focused on the job he has," part of the statement reads. "Our City deserves no less. Should Chief Dotson decide to become a candidate for mayor, I expect him to resign, for this City deserves a top crime fighter dedicated to the task 24/7."

In his announcement, Dotson said his campaign will not interfere with his job as police chief, and he is not planning on resigning.

“I am a full-time police chief and that will not change during this campaign," the statement said. "Leading this police department will remain my number one priority."

Dotson mayoral campaign announcement by Sam Clancy on Scribd