The Highway Patrol’s new superintendent starts his first full week as “Officer One.” Colonel Ronald Replogle moves up from the Criminal Investigation Bureau, to succeed Colonel James Keathley, who headed the patrol for more than three years. He says he wants to continue Keathley’s progress on making highways as safe as possible, and the patrol’s record of helping local agencies with major crime investigations. Homeland security has become a special effort in recent years.
Replogle says it starts at the street level with the street officers and road troopers who stop cars and trucks…and run across homeland security problems. The patrol works closely with federal agencies to share information. The patrol has even gotten into immigration enforcement. Several officers have attended immigration training and are working with federal immigration officers on criminal investigations.
As head of the Criminal Investigation Bureau, Replogle saw the increased use of DNA as evidence and an increase in the number of crime labs in Missouri. He says those labs have helped with backlogs in evidence processing, especially a new one in Springfield. The state now has more than a half dozen of those labs.
He says recruiting is an ongoing effort, and one that’s more competitive because of the number of police agencies looking for well-qualified officers.