By JIM SALTER
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A 30-year veteran of the St. Louis Police Department has been named the city's new police chief.
John Hayden currently commands a patrol division on the city's north side. His hiring was announced Thursday by Mayor Lyda Krewson.
Hayden was chosen from among six finalists after a national search. Among the issues he faces is the city's increasing homicide rate: More than 200 people have been killed this year, the most in more than two decades.
Hayden also faces concerns about the department's handling of racially charged protests since a white former police officer was acquitted in September of first-degree murder in the death of a black suspect. The 55-year-old Hayden is black.
Former Police Chief Sam Dotson retired in April, on the same day Krewson took office as mayor.