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St. Louis police chief search narrowed to 2 external candidates, winner to be announced Wednesday

Lt. Col. Michael Sack announced he was not selected as the next police chief.

ST. LOUIS — The next Chief of Police for the City of St. Louis will come from another department for the first time in the department’s history, and Mayor Tishaura Jones will announce who he is during a press conference Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Michael Sack announced in an email to his department Tuesday afternoon that he has not been selected to lead the department.

“While I have not been selected to serve as the Chief of Police, together, we will continue to work hard to make a difference in our community,” Sack wrote.

Only two of the original four finalists remain in the running.

They include Chief Larry Boone of Norfolk, Virginia and Chief Robert Tracy of Wilmington, Delaware. Boone was also a finalist for chief in Cincinnati but was not selected.

Deputy Chief Melron Kelly of the Columbia, South Carolina Police Department withdrew from the running.

Jones' office is planning a press conference for 11 a.m. Wednesday to announce the new chief.

Deputy Public Safety Director Heather Taylor sent an email Tuesday to police commanders titled, "Meet and Greet with new Chief of Police," saying a mandatory meeting is planned for 1 p.m. at police headquarters.  

Boone recently retired as the police chief in April. In an interview with 13 NewsNow in Virginia, Boone said gun violence definitely played a role in his decision to end his tenure as chief.

"I came to the point that there is very little I can do at this point to impact gun violence," Boone said in April.

Since retiring, Boone has also been named a finalist for the police chief job in Cincinnati. He spoke to the public at City Hall in Cincinnati last week.

In January, Robert Tracy, who oversees the police department in Delaware’s largest city, was given a vote of no confidence by the Wilmington city council. According to NPR/PBS affiliate WHYY, the resolution stemmed in part from an appearance at a public safety committee meeting where he discussed the department's lack of diversity among leadership positions. 

Tracy has said he will step down as chief in Wilmington regardless of whether he is selected as St. Louis’ next top cop.

Here is the full text of Sack's email to the department:

"I appreciate your efforts, as do many in our community, so I want to thank you for all your hard work this past year. You've done it all in 2022. 

I have a great deal of respect for each of you. Policing is one of the hardest careers anyone can choose. Thank you for choosing it, and thank you for choosing St. Louis. I'm honored to serve with you. 

The Holidays are a time to reflect on rebirth and new beginnings. We've been going through a lot of growing pains here and while we continue to adapt to our ever-changing environment, I ask that you continue to serve with the high degree of professionalism and integrity that you exhibited in 2022. While I have not been selected to serve as the Chief of Police, together, we will continue to work hard to make a difference in our community."

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