Chief Mary Barton was appointed to the position of Chief of Police on May 1, 2020 by the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners. By County Charter, the Chief of Police is responsible for the law enforcement duties of the Sheriff. St. Louis County is unique in the U.S., as it does not have an elected sheriff. Chief Barton has served the agency since 1978. The St. Louis County Police Department serves a population of over one million and a geographical area of more than 500 square miles. Current agency strength is nearly 1,100 and it has a budget of more than $113 million.
Mary Barton began her law enforcement career after receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Southwest Texas State University. She joined the St. Louis County Police Department in October 1978 and has had held numerous positions including, patrol (officer and supervisor), Bureau of Drug Enforcement Detective, Bureau of Special Investigations Detective, Bureau of Communications Supervisor, Patrol Lieutenant, and Bureau Commanders in Staff Services, Security Services, and Logistical Support. Captain Barton has commanded the North County Precinct and was recently assigned to the West County Precinct. Captain Barton also instructed classes at the County and Municipal Police Academy in Interpersonal Communications, Cultural Diversity, and Workplace Survival. In addition, she has instructed fellow employees in interview skills, promotion preparation, report writing, and task force development/management.
Lieutenant Colonel Barton has received numerous awards, commendations, and letters of appreciation throughout her career. She earned a Master’s Degree in Management and Human Resource Training and Development from Webster University in 1991 and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Class 237. Captain Barton is a graduate of the 74th Session of the Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston.
Lieutenant Colonel Barton has served over twenty five years in the Greater St. Louis Area Major Case Squad as an investigator, supervisor, Deputy Commander, and Chief Report Officer. She is a member of the International Homicide Investigator's Association. She has been a member of the Public Safety Advisory Board to the Special School District for over 30 years, developing and advising on training curriculum for vocational high schools students planning to pursue law enforcement careers.