By Grant Bissell
St. Louis (KSDK) - Monday's retirement announcement by St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom wasn't completely unexpected. Rumors about his leaving to take a job at the University of Missouri St. Louis had been swirling for days. But the announcement did come on short notice to some city leaders.
"I found out officially this morning," said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.
The mayor congratulated Isom and wished the chief well in his new position as a professor of criminology.
"The city's loss is the university's gain," said Slay.
While it was all smiles and handshakes at Monday's news conference, Jeff Roorda, business manager of the St. Louis Police Officers' Association, hopes his organization's relationship with the new chief will be less "prickly" than it was with Isom.
"We wish the chief all the luck in the world, but we think it'll be nice to have a relationship with the administration and that's what we're hopeful of," said Roorda. "Mayor has indicated to us on multiple occasions that he'd like to see the rank and file and the chief get along better and work and collaborate together and we hope this will mark a new day for the police department."
Isom said he was not pressured out of his job and is not retiring to escape the possibility of more city control over the police department.
"I know everyone likes to have the rumors swirling around," said Isom. "Simply, it's something that's good for me and I think it's going to be good for the police department and the university and it's nothing more than that."
Isom went on to say he supports Proposition A, which could reduce the state's control over the police department and possibly change the dynamics of the chief's job. Proposition A will appear on the November ballot.
The new police chief will be named by November.