On the heels of Governor Nixon announcing several department leadership appointments, Missouri’s Water Patrol commander is retiring after serving almost 30 years.
Missouri Water Patrol Commander Rad Talburt says he was told Friday that the Governor wanted to put someone else at the helm, and that he’s OK with that and has had a great career with no regrets. He says he’ll look back on his career with fondness.
He says he’s getting his retirement papers ready, but that he’s not one to sit around and wants to find something else, though he’s not sure it will be in law enforcement. "I like to stay busy," he says.
Talburt admits that after so many years of enforcing the law on Missouri’s waters, he’s ready to enjoy them as a civilian.
"Spring fishing season is coming up and that’s something I’ve been looking forward to," he says.
He says the Patrol has come a long way in the past four years under his direction. The Lake of the Ozarks was listed in 2006 as the most dangerous locked body of water in the nation, but last year Missouri had the third least water fatalities.
In 2006, there were eight fatalities, he says, and working with the Lake of the Ozarks Safety Coalition, the following year there was only one water-related death there.
Talburt says the most enjoyable part of his job was working with top-notch officers, and it has been like working with a family. He credits the success of his leadership to the support of those he works with, as well as the communities he’s served.
Talburt says he was offered the chance to come back on with the water patrol as a lieutenant, but that he chose to go ahead and retire and do something else.
No word yet on who will replace him to lead the patrol.