De Soto’s new Police Chief lays out goals for beleaguered department

DE SOTO, MO – De Soto’s newest police chief Jeff McCreary received quite a standing ovation after the city council announced that he would be heading the department.

That resident-favorite decision came after strong pleads and sad tears.

“Please I’m begging you, we don’t need to give our law enforcement away,” a resident pleaded.

“We need our PD we do,” another one said emotionally.

Residents last ditch effort happened just before the council could’ve voted to dissolve the police force and be taken over by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Council members put that option on the table once the sheriff’s department stepped in to help after officers resigned leaving the department with no leadership.

Following an alarming report from Sheriff Dave Marshak, the pressure is on for McCreary to make a change for the struggling department.

“The first thing, they’ve done a good job identifying something that are glaring, potential safety issues, liability issues and we’ll address those right away,” McCreary said.

The sheriff noticed officers lack of knowledge of policies, the lack of proper supervision and if not most important, the lack of maintenance on firearms and officer training.

The sheriff went as far as to say quote, “De Soto is setting their own police officers up for failure.”

All of which are concerns, McCreary plans to address immediately.

“The first 30 days is to make sure the officers are supported and they know where their policies are at and where their boundaries are at,” the new chief said.

The new chief says he understands it may be a rollercoaster ride, but it’s those ups and downs he will be ready to handle.

“Sometimes we’re going to be really happy and if we hit a bump in the road, maybe they’ll think we’re not doing it fast enough but we’re going to do the best we can as quickly as we can and we’re going to be transparent about it,” McCreary said.