Lt. Col. Sandra Karsten has been chosen to lead the Missouri State Highway Patrol – the first woman to hold the position in the agency’s 81-year history. Governor Greitens (R) announced his leadership choice today at the Highway Patrol headquarters in Jefferson City, addressing the 104th class of recruits.

Lt. Col Sandra Karsten and Gov. Eric Greitens

“Lt. Col. Karsten started out as a trooper working on the roads in Callaway and Audrain counties. She has a distinguished 30 years in service, during which time she was recognized numerous times for her work on DWI enforcement and drug interdiction,” said Greitens.

He said Karsten has led at every level with courage and commitment.

“Today’s a proud day for the Missouri State Highway Patrol and for the state of Missouri. Leaders, like Lt. Col. Karsten, are going to keep our streets safe and our citizens safe,” said Greitens.

Karsten will oversee more than 1,000 officers.

“The Patrol is a great organization and I’ve had a passion for it since I was 17 years old. We have great people who are dedicated to providing service to the citizens we serve… As your colonel, I will listen first and then lead. I will work in such a way that is worthy of your trust and your confidence,” said Karsten.

She replaces Bret Johnson, who retired yesterday.