Missouri has a new superintendent of the State Highway Patrol. Lt. Col. Eric Olson, who has been serving as the acting superintendent, takes over the statewide law enforcement agency made up of nearly 1,300 troopers.

Gov. Parson and Col. Eric Olson shake hands during March 5 press conference

During a press conference today at the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Gov. Mike Parson announced Olson as his pick. Olson, a native of northwest Missouri’s Chillicothe, has been with the patrol since 1990 and becomes the 24th superintendent of the agency.

“Looking to the future to identify the potential law enforcement needs for the citizens of Missouri and how the patrol can best contribute to public safety is a high priority for me. Closely examining the use of allocated resources, safety for all patrol employees, opportunities to improve public service and strengthening diversity and recruiting for the agency will also receive my full intention,” says Olson.

The patrol has been without a permanent leader since Col. Sandy Karsten retired last September to head the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

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