After serving with the patrol for 31 years, Colonel Ron Replogle plans to retire this spring. Replogle has been the patrol’s superintendent for five years.
He said it has been a tremendous honor to lead the organization, and said he made the decision to retire strictly to spend more time with family.
“I have a 10-month old grandson, Will, that is going to get some grandpa attention come May 1st,” said Replogle. “I have an 86-year-old mother who lives in Marshfield, whose health is declining, and it’s my turn to help take care of her.”
Governor Jay Nixon announced Replogle’s retirement Wednesday and praised him for his years of service.
“Col. Replogle has been every bit the leader I expected, demonstrating courage, conviction, intelligence, and integrity,” said Nixon. “He has always given me his honest counsel and he’s also been a friend.”
The way the Patrol handled the civil unrest in Ferguson after the August 9th shooting of Michael Brown received national attention. Nixon defended the agency and said the patrol made Missouri proud.
“In those dark hours when tensions, emotions, and the violence were at their highest, the men and women of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, under tremendous pressure and literally under fire, held themselves to the highest standards of conduct and professionalism,” said Nixon.
Nixon nominated the commander of the patrol’s field operations bureau as Replogle’s replacement.
“In choosing a successor to Col. Replogle, I look for someone in the same sterling character, integrity, experience, and dedication,” said Nixon. “That individual is Major Bret Johnson.”
Johnson has been with the patrol for 28 years and says he’s honored with the opportunity and responsibility to lead the agency.
“I look forward to working with the entire patrol team to turn the public safety challenges of today into opportunities for tomorrow, as together we move this great agency forward,” said Johnson.
Pending a Missouri Senate confirmation, Johnson will take over leadership of the agency on May 1. Nixon will nominate Johnson to the Senate in March.