St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden LHSN ‘ 81. Voted the high school student with the “Most Sex Appeal,” John now operates the second largest police department in Missouri. A man of faith, John attended law school and seminary before deciding on law enforcement. He keeps a Bible on his desk and is passionate about the pursuit of excellence in policing. When asked about the difficulties of his job, he said, “I am in control of nothing, yet responsible for everything.”
St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden manages the second largest police department in the state of Missouri. He oversees a department of 1,350 officers and 465 civilian employees. He was appointed Police Commissioner on Dec. 28, 2017, as the city’s 35th police chief. Newsweek
magazine posted an article in 2018 entitled, “Why St. Louis Chief John Hayden May Have the Toughest Job in America.” John is a 30-year member of the St. Louis Police Department.
After graduating from Lutheran North, John attended Washington University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He was also a member of the football team at Washington U. (Yes, he was an all-league tight end for the Crusaders.) He received a master’s degree from Fontbonne University in management. He also attended St. Louis University School of Law, where he completed 50 credits in its Juris Doctorate program.
Chief Hayden’s 30-year career is balanced with 15 years of investigative experience and 15 years of administrative work. He served as a commander in the North Patrol Division. He also served as the Executive Aide to the Chief of Police for seven years. He has served as the Commander of the Internal Affairs Division. He has extensive teaching experience in the Police Academy, where he served as both an instructor and training coordinator.
John is a member of the Police Executive Research Forum, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Major Cities Police Chiefs Association. He was recognized for his exceptional performance with a Chief’s Letter of Commendation in 2007. Throughout his career, he has been passionate about the pursuit of excellence in policing.
It comes as no surprise that at the Police Academy, John was responsible for teaching and developing training on a topic that is still his top priority, namely “ethics.” John has completed course work in Theological Studies at Covenant Theological Seminary. He has served as a Deacon at Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis since 1998. And yes, a Bible sits on top of his desk in the Police Headquarters building.