I want to thank you for attending tonight's ceremony.
For me…tonight is the realization of my childhood dream…there are many moments that help define who we are through the course of our lives…and as I look back over my life…there are many special moments…but there’s one single memory that set me on a path for my career…and it happened on December 16th, 1975. I was 6 years old…in the first grade….and I remember it like it was yesterday…a very starchly pressed…very professional..police officer showed up to speak to my class…it was Officer Friendly….and at that moment I was hooked. I knew that I wanted to be that person…that police officer…and that I was going to be the best one I could. To commemorate that visit…the entire class received certificates….and I still have that certificate sitting on my desk. It reminds me everyday of the power…and the responsibility...we as police officers have to shape lives…
I am grateful…and humbled… that the members of our Board of Police Commissioners placed their confidence in me…and are allowing me a turn…to lead this great Department. I look forward to working with the Board in the coming months…and I assure you…through the changes ahead..our Department will remain focused on our most important objectives…reducing crime…and helping our citizens feel safe.
I am fortunate to work every day with dedicated officers…and civilian employees…who share a single commitment… to providing the very best police service to our city.
Providing great service takes a combined effort from all of our employees…from the 911 dispatchers..to the first responding officers on scenes…from the evidence technicians..to the forensic scientists who analyze evidence in search of the truth. I will be calling on all of our employees to make sure we are meeting our objectives…and that we continue to focus on the quality of our service moving forward. Leading a department such as this..comes with great responsibility… I promise you…I will not take those responsibilities lightly.
In my first 30 days on the job…I quickly realized the magnitude of emotion that comes with this position. Not a night goes by..that I don’t think of the men and women who are out there..answering calls..and putting their lives on the line to make our city safe…It wakes me up at night.
As I thought about what I wanted to share with you tonight…I couldn't help but think about the job we do as police officers. I truly believe..that being a law enforcement officer is one of the most noble professions.
It's not a job…it's a calling…and we have each answered that call. There’s something inside each of us…that made us choose to follow a path...that may not provide us the largest salaries…or the positive recognition…or even the assurance..that we will return home safely to our families at the end of the day.
We chose it because it’s what our hearts told us to do….and even if we can’t put our finger on it…that special "thing"..that made us all join this profession…we do know that each of us share it…and that's what makes us a family.
Like most families…there are bumps along the way…and although we may not always agree with one another…we know that the support of our police family is there when crisis strikes…and we know from past experiences...it inevitably does strike.
We are a unique group of people who become our best.. when times are at their worst…officers come together to support one another..and always do whatever it takes to protect the citizens of this great city…and we will always do that.
But tonight we come together for a different reason…not out of response to tragedy…but in celebration. As I look in front of me at the officers being promoted…I am excited about the future.
It's a time for change…it’s a chance to reinvent who we are and what our focus is. The individuals being promoted tonight are a part of that future.
Combined…these officers represent 384 years of service to the city of St. Louis…384 years….Their experience and knowledge..will be passed down to those working for them…our future leaders.
I ask that each of you being promoted this evening…think about the future..and what you can do to change it. Use your experience to mentor younger officers….build bridges to the community…and continue to look for ways that we can make our department the very best. Take the opportunity to use mistakes as teachable moments…and successes as a way to continually set the bar a little higher.
I read a quote that said…“Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it…” WE should autograph our work with excellence.
In closing…and on a personal note…to the employees of the Department…both commissioned and civilian…I hope that I ..can live up to your expectations…that is how I measure success.
To the community…we will spend every waking moment..of everyday..working to reduce crime…and making St. Louis a great place to live…work...and play.
To the families of officers here tonight…you have my promise.. to do everything possible..to make sure your loved one comes home to you at the end of every shift….
And lastly…to my fellow promotees…we have a great deal of work to do…and collectively.. I know we will work to make this Department great…
Thank you and God bless us all….