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Battelle retires from police department after 14 years as chief, 40 as officer


St. Louis County Police Chief Ronald A. Battelle last week announced his retirement after nearly 40 years of service as a commissioned police officer and almost 15 years as chief of police.

Battelle's retirement will commence June 1, at which time he will become the executive director of the Backstoppers organization, according to a department news release.

Battelle, who resides in north county, is the first officer in the 48-year history of the department to become chief of police by working his way up through the ranks.

When Battelle started as chief in 1990, he was responsible for 475 commissioned police officers and 190 civilian employees.

Today, the police department has grown to an authorized strength of more than 1,000 employees; more than 750 police officers and nearly 250 non-commissioned personnel.

"It has truly been an honor and a privilege to work with such outstanding police officers and support personnel — not only from the St. Louis County Police Department but throughout the St. Louis area," Battelle stated in the release.

"Over the last 38 years, I have seen many accomplishments and technological advancements in law enforcement and officer safety.

"I look forward to my new position as the Executive Director of Backstoppers where I can actively support families of police officers and firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty.''

Battelle added, "It was always a pleasure to serve the good citizens of St. Louis County. I grew up here, raised a family here and enjoyed the progress that our community has made together.

County Executive Charles Dooley said, "Chief Battelle is very well respected in the community for his professionalism and genuine concern for the people he serves.

"He has been instrumental in accomplishing so much for the department and the law enforcement profession.

"I commend him for the high standards that he has set for himself and his department and for making St. Louis County a safer place to live and work," according to Dooley's statements in the release.

Col. Patrick Twardowski, chairman of the county Board of Police Commissioners, also discussed Battelle's retirement.

"I have known Ron Battelle for many years and have seen first hand the dedication and commitment to excellence that he has contributed to the St. Louis County Police Department throughout his career," Twardowski stated in the release

"He is a man of honor and a very admired and accomplished police chief.''

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