ST. LOUIS – Dozens packed a room at a public forum Wednesday night at the O'Fallon Recreation Complex.
The forum held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the citizens advisory committee, invited the public to give their input as to who they believe should lead the city's police department.
Some speakers said that they want a police chief who will strengthen police and community relations.
One woman said that whoever becomes the next police chief must implement a mandatory diversity training.
Others said they want someone who would admit fault if and whenever there are police involved incidents.
Among the crowd were some demonstrators in the back of the room holding up a banner that read "SLMPD 2017 kills," but event remained peaceful.
Speaker Kevin Nevels said that he wants a police chief who would address and acknowledge what he believes is, "systemic racism within the police department."
"Have a background dealing in departments that may have had some racial inequities and racial problems in that past," Nevels said, "because without that experience how is he going to come into a situation and deal with a racial problem but has never dealt with it before."
Terri Powers said that gender matters to her when the city makes its final selection.
"Ideally a black female in a perfect world," said Powers, "but in a perfect world we wouldn't need a police department."
"They are a lot more open than men especially in law enforcement, that's been my experience," said Nevels, "because as a human being women bring their experience to that job and it serves them a lot better than some guy who just knows the letter of the law."
Mayor Lyda Krewson was not present at the forum.
Carl Filler with the mayor's office said that more forums are expected but not yet scheduled.