-Jill Enders, St. Louis

The public is getting the chance to provide input on the search to replace retiring St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.  Belmar recently announced he’ll retire April 30, after six years in the position.

St. Louis County Board Of Police Commissioners Photo By Jill Enders

Wednesday, the  St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners hosted the first of a series of public meetings for feedback on the selection.

St. Louis County Police Officer Shanette Hall asked for more diversity.

“When you begin to make your choice, I ask that you remember a face that looks just like mine. And remember there are about one hundred or so African American police officers that are on our police department as well and you can ask, ‘What is it that I can do to make sure that they are also heard, like everybody else,” she said.

Paul Warden of north St. Louis County, was among about one hundred residents who turned out for the meeting.

“The current situation in north county will not get better unless we have more police on the ground,” he said, “I hope it’s somebody who will be focused on making all St. Louis County safer, especially from my perspective, making north county safer.”

Jennings Councilman Terry Wilson was among the community leaders who voiced his input.

“I think we need someone that is community-oriented and has relationships, strong relationships with all of St. Louis County. And I beleive that we need someone who is ready to lead on day one,” said Wilson.

The next meeting will be held on February 26th.