Sunset Hills taps new police chief to succeed LaGrand

Lt. Stephen Dodge a 22-year veteran in St. Louis city

Stephen Dodge

Stephen Dodge

By Gloria Lloyd

Sunset Hills Police Chief William LaGrand announced his retirement last week after nearly three decades at the helm of the city’s Police Department, and his successor comes from the city of St. Louis.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Stephen Dodge will serve as the new chief starting Feb. 27. He is a 22-year veteran of the city department, where he has served in many roles including current 4th District watch commander and, from 2013 to 2016, commander of the SWAT team.

LaGrand’s retirement party is Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the Community Center, but he will continue to work up until Dodge starts. LaGrand has been the chief for 26 years.

Dodge told the Call that he is excited to get to the city and meet its police officers and residents.

“It’s a great opportunity, it’s a very vibrant area obviously, a lot of good mix of businesses and residential,” Dodge said. “It’s a very nice area, and I’m really excited to be the chief.”

Although he has spent his entire career in the city of St. Louis, Dodge said he hopes to spend the rest of it in Sunset Hills.

“A lot of things are happening in Sunset Hills, a lot of good new businesses, and I know it’s growing,” he said. “I’m very excited about going there and keeping the businesses safe, the residents safe and the visitors safe.”

The incoming chief lives in St. Louis County with his wife, Amy, and two young children.

The new chief will be paid $98,000 and does not have a contract, City Administrator Eric Sterman said.

The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen unanimously hired Dodge after interviewing four finalists Jan. 23. The vote was 7-0, with Ward 3 Alderman Keith Kostial absent.

The search was narrowed down to the final four from 50 applicants by a committee composed of Sterman and three aldermen.