Webster Groves Police Chief Dale Curtis is announcing his retirement from the City of Webster Groves. His last day will be December 31, 2023. Chief Curtis has served in this role for 26 years and has 49 years of experience in law enforcement.
“I feel most fortunate and am extremely grateful to have landed in Webster for the second half of my career,” said Dale Curtis. “I’m well aware that very few are given this opportunity, and I did my very best not to waste it. I sincerely hope that it’s a better place for my having been here. I’d also like to acknowledge that any success was the result of many other people doing the heavy lifting. Despite some big speed bumps along the way, it’s been a ‘helluva’ sweet ride.”
Under Chief Curtis’ leadership, the Webster Groves Police Department first received certification from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement agencies (CALEA) in 2004 and has been re-accredited since then. The CALEA Accreditation program seals are reserved for use by those public safety agencies that have demonstrated compliance with CALEA Standards and have been awarded CALEA Accreditation by the Commission.
During his time in Webster Groves, he has led the department in several changes that positively impacted not only the department but also the safety of Webster Groves. Included in these are: a reorganization that significantly increased police patrols; technology advancements that include Mobile Data Terminals, In-car Videos; Body Cameras; Automated Mug Shots, Prisoner Booking and Electronic Fingerprinting; Automated Report Writing and Crime Analysis System (C.A.R.E.); Automated Vehicle Location System; Automated Security System; complete remodeling and construction of the police and prisoner holding facility; implementation of a Prisoner Transport Unit in cooperation with four other municipalities; and consolidation of Public Safety Communications with seven other municipalities.
Additionally, under Chief Curtis’ leadership, in 2020 Webster Groves was determined to be the safest city in Missouri by the National Council for Home Safety and Security. The council computed the total number of crimes reported by each city in Missouri (those with populations of over 10,000) by adding violent crimes and property crimes, then created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Webster Groves logged a crime rate of just above 1 per 1,000 in 2018, while its property crime rate is just one-third of the national rate.
Chief Curtis also served as the staff liaison to the Police Community Engagement Board, which was established in 2019 and works to build positive relationships between the police department and the community. Chief Curtis has led public safety efforts while bridging divides between community and the police.
“It has been my pleasure to work with Chief Curtis, he will be greatly missed. I have a deep appreciation for his compassionate and balanced approach when addressing complex issues. ” said Dr. Marie Peoples, Webster Groves City Manager. “Chief Curtis has provided exemplary service to the community and has established Webster Groves as a premier policing agency.
“I am excited for Chief Curtis as he announces his retirement,” said Laura Arnold, Mayor of Webster Groves. “He has served the City extremely well for many years and his impact on the community is far-reaching. Chief Curtis has led with courage, decisiveness, and fairness and he exemplifies the professional standards of policing. We wish him all of the best in his retirement”
The City is in the process of engaging a recruitment firm. There will be a national search for a new police chief.