Col. John W. Hayden, Jr. joined the Metropolitan St. Louis Police Department on Feb. 23, 1987. He was appointed Police Commissioner on Dec. 28, 2017, as the city’s 35th police chief and manages the second largest police department in Missouri with an authorized strength of more than 1,300 sworn officers and over 400 annual budget of $170 million, a third of the city’s budget.

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 from 2013 through 2017. His crime strategies resulted in significant crime reduction in several neighborhoods.

Prior to 2013, he served as the Commander of the Internal Affairs Division, overseeing more than 1,200 investigations of employee misconduct. Throughout his career he has been passionate about the pursuit of excellence in policing.

Hayden served as the executive aide to the Chief of Police from 2001-2007, managing the department from the executive level. He has extensive teaching experience from his time in the Police Academy, where he served as both an instructor and training coordinator. At the Police Academy, Hayden was responsible for teaching and developing training on a topic that is still his top priority – Ethics.

Hayden, who has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Washington University and a master’s degree in management from Fontbonne University, was recognized for his exceptional performance with a Chief’s Letter of Commendation in 2007.

An all-league tight end at Lutheran North and at Washington U., he went to St. Louis University’s prestigious School of Law and has completed over 50 credits in their Juris Doctorate Program. He has also completed 15 hours of graduate coursework in Theological Studies at the Covenant Theological Seminary.

Hayden is a member of the Police Executive Research Forum, the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police and the Major Cities Police Chiefs Assn.. He has served as a Deacon at Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis since 1998.

While at Lutheran North Hayden lettered in football for four years as a tight end. He was well known for being able to catch a short pass over the middle, getting immediately hit, but by a linebacker while still maintaining possession of the ball. During his senior season, Hayden received All-League recognition.