In front of a room full of people including close friends and family, Capt. Greg Hall was promoted chief of police for the Hazelwood Police Department at Wednesday's Hazelwood City Council meeting.
Edwin Carlstrom, Hazelwood's city manager spoke to the room, which was filled with police officers and firefighters from not only Hazelwood, but also Florissant and Ferguson, about why he choose Hall for the position.
"He's an outstanding employee and now police chief," Carlstrom said. "I got a list of things here that have an impact on the reason why I chose Greg as the next police chief of the City of Hazelwood."
Hall has more than 30 years with the force. Carlstrom said he hired Hall to the city July 9. 1979, one month after he began as city manager and said he has never doubted that decision.
"I made a great choice," he said. "He grew up in North County, and he knows North County very well."
Carlstrom said he appointed Hall acting chief of police as soon as former chief Carl Wolf retired. In that capacity Carlstrom said he gave Hall a lot of research projects to do to see if he was ready to be police chief.
"It was an internal promotion process and we did have three other candidates," Carlstrom said. "Hopefully in many, many years I'll be looking back and saying I did make a good decision."
Hall thanked retired chief Carl Wolf for giving him opportunity after opportunity to learn and grow in the department.
"He set the bar very high," he said speaking about Wolf. "I want to thank Carlstrom for trusting me to be chief"
Wolf presented Hall with his eagles pin, which happens when an officer is promoted to chief as it also mean he or she is promoted to the rank of Colonel.
"You have to have the strength to hold up the brick of responsibility that is on your shoulders now" Wolf said. "You know that you are the person that is sending out all the officers into the streets to do their jobs, and you never get a good night's sleep because you are waiting for that phone call."
Wolf also advised Hall to have the courage to do what is right and farsightedness to think outside the box and look to the future.
"Wear it (the badge) proudly," he said. "I know you will do one heck of a job."
Hall thanked his fellow officers for helping to make the department what it is, as well as family for patience for dealing with him as he brought work home.
"I've wanted to be a police officer since second grade," he said. "My parents didn't always think I would make it there, but I did," Hall said acknowledging those that are no longer living.
"I'm absolutely excited for the opportunity I've been given to be the leader of the most professional law enforcement agency in the state"
Both Hall's father and brother were police officers.
"I'll continue to give my best effort to maintain the standards and expectations that we've established here in the Hazelwood Police Department," he said. "And I'll strive to continue to provide the community of Hazelwood with the best police services."