A new director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety has been sworn in.
Former Joplin Chief of Police Lane Roberts was sworn in at the Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial outside of the State Capitol Wednesday. Roberts takes over for Daniel Isom, who served for only six months before announcing his resignation.
Roberts, who has over 40 years of experience in law enforcement, said it was an honor to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of Missouri.
“Working in law enforcement public safety is more than a career, it’s a commitment to protect and a calling to serve,” said Roberts. “This memorial is a constant reminder of the dedication of those who have paid the ultimate price for selflessly serving the people of Missouri.”
Governor Jay Nixon introduced Roberts and thanked the Senate for confirming his nomination last week. Nixon said he is confident in Roberts’ leadership abilities after spending time with him during response to the Joplin tornado four years ago.
“It was on his watch, after one of the deadliest single tornados to hit our country leveled much his city and took 161 lives, that the citizens of Joplin could fully appreciate the character, compassion, and courage of Chief Lane Roberts,” said Nixon. “In those times, you developed a level of trust and a level of commitment that was based on your word and professionalism, and on each of those counts, Lane has been a leader his entire life.”
Roberts said members of more than 400 law enforcement and public safety agencies raced to his community in their hour of need.
“In the most trying time for my neighbors, my officers, and for me personally, Missouri’s public safety community bolstered our ranks, strengthened our resolve, and helped lay the foundation for Joplin’s incredible recovery,” said Roberts.
Roberts played a role in the response to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens early in his career. Roberts said he laso dealt with large forest fires and floods while working in Washington.
“I learned a great deal about how people go about collaborating with one another and the need for people to stay on their mission task, so that things work in cooperation instead of sometimes in conflict with each other,” said Roberts.
Roberts said one of his top priorities as director is establishing trust between the community and law enforcement, particularly in Ferguson.
“I want to move forward and think about the future in how we go about making things better for Missourians, and we’ll learn from the lessons of the past,” said Roberts.
Roberts was sworn in by Boone County Associate Circuit Judge Michael Bradley.