People & Places

Best Bureaucrat 

Colonel Tim Fitch

Tim Fitch seems to be everywhere. One day you'll see the St. Louis County police chief speaking at a public forum warning the community on the perils of heroin use. The next day he's on the radio bashing speed cameras, which he sees as little more than a money grab. Fitch doesn't mince words, but he also has the reputation and know-how to back up what he says. In his first six months as chief, in 2009, Fitch reassigned more cops to the streets and focused his department on high-crime areas. As a result, crime dropped 12.3 percent that year. Since then, Fitch has kept on rolling, demanding that all police departments within the county conform to community standards for policing. Some departments have bristled at the criticism. Others, such as the city of Jennings, have let the county take over policing. While he's tough on crime, Fitch is interested in everyone's safety — even bad guys. Under his direction, Fitch's force now carries Tasers to limit fatalities and is required to call an ambulance each time the weapon is deployed.

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