Missouri State Highway Patrol

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Missouri State Highway Patrol
Abbreviation MSHP
Missouri Highway Patrol.jpg
Patch of the Missouri State Highway Patrol
Flag of Missouri.svg
Flag of the State of Missouri
Motto Together Protecting Missouri's Citizens
Simul protegens Missouri scriptor Cives (Latin)
Agency overview
Formed 1931
Employees 2,248 (as of 2004) [1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Missouri, U.S.
MO - Missouri Troop Map.gif
Missouri State Highway Patrol Troops
Size 69,704 square miles (180,530 km2)
Population 6,044,171(2013 est.)
Legal jurisdiction State of Missouri
Governing body Missouri Department of Public Safety
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 1510 East Elm Street Jefferson City, MO 65102
Troopers 1,097 (as of 2004) [1]
Civilians 1,151 (as of 2004) [1]
Elected officer responsible Governor of Missouri, Eric Greitens
Agency executives
Parent agency Missouri Department of Public Safety
Troops 9
Dogs 11 German Shepherds
Anniversary April 24, 1931
MSHP Website
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is the highway patrol agency for Missouri and has jurisdiction anywhere within the state. Colonel J. Bret Johnson has served as Superintendent since May 1, 2015.[2]

In 1992, MSHP became only the 10th State Police/Highway Patrol to receive accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is a division of the Missouri Department of Public Safety.


Missouri State Highway Patrol officers (circa 1910)

State laws pertaining to the Highway Patrol including its creation, powers, structure, mission and duties are specified in Chapter 43 of Missouri Revised Statutes (RSMo).[3] According to Chapter 43.025 RSMo: "The primary purpose of the highway patrol is to enforce the traffic laws and promote safety upon the highways. As near as practicable all personnel of the patrol shall be used for carrying out these purposes." The MSHP has a criminal investigation division that investigates crimes statewide such as murder, robbery, burglary, rape and financial crimes. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is more than a Highway Patrol; MSHP functions more like a full service state police agency.


A state trooper during the Ferguson unrest, September 2014

General Headquarters (GHQ) and the Law Enforcement Academy are located in Jefferson City, Missouri, the state capital.

The state is divided into nine troops, with troop headquarters and communications centers located in the following cities:

In addition, three of the troops maintain service centers:


The MSHP utilizes a variety of vehicles, including the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (CVPI), the Dodge Charger, the Dodge RAM 1500 and 2500 series, the Chevrolet Tahoe, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2500 series, the Chevrolet Impala 9C1, the Chevrolet Caprice, the Ford Interceptor (Taurus), the Ford Explorer, and the Ford F-150 and F-250. Both regularly marked and slicktop vehicles are used frequently. Colors include: white, tan, blue, silver, black, and maroon.


MSHP troopers are issued a Glock 22 GEN 4 .40 caliber pistol, a 5.56x45mm Colt AR-15A1 (M16A1), and a 12 ga Remington 870 Police Magnum. Prior to the Glock 22 GEN 4, troopers had the older Glock 22 .40 which was the first semi-automatic pistol issued to the agency replacing the Smith and Wesson 586 .357 magnum revolver in 1991.



  • Superintendent Colonel J. Bret Johnson is supported by the Assistant Superintendent and six Bureau Commanders.
  • Deputy Superintendent Lieutenant Colonel Sandy K. Karsten oversees the Patrol's Professional Standards and Public Information and Education divisions as well as the Patrol's legal counsel.
  • Major Gregory K. Smith commands the Patrol's Field Operations Bureau, which has authority over the Patrol's nine Troops, the Aircraft Division and the Water Patrol Division.
  • Major Luke Vislay oversees the Criminal Investigation Bureau, which has authority over the Crime Laboratory, Drug and Crime Control, Gaming, MIAC and Governor's Security Divisions.
  • Major Malik A. Henderson commands of the Administrative Services Bureau, which has authority over the Budget and Procurement, Human Resources, and Training divisions.
  • Major Gregory D. Kindle has authority over the Support Services Bureau, which directs the Public Information and Education, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Driver Examination, Motor Vehicle Inspection, and Motor Equipment divisions.
  • Major Sarah L. Eberhard is responsible for the Technical Services Bureau, which directs the Communications, Criminal Justice Information Services, Information Systems, Traffic, and Research and Development divisions.
  • Major Kemp A. Shoun is Major Shoun has oversight of the Executive Services Bureau, which directs the Budget and Procurement and the Governor's Security divisions.

Field Operations Bureau[edit]

  • Captain Norman A. Murphy, Captain Mark E. Richerson, Captain Matthew C. Walz, Lieutenant Brian L. Daniel and Lieutenant Michael W. Watson.

Criminal Investigation Bureau[edit]

  • Captain Kyle D. Marquart works under the direction of the Commander.

Personnel killed on duty[edit]

Thirty-one officers have been killed on police duty. One member died while serving in the military in World War II.[4][5]

Badge and rank structure[edit]

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is one of only five state police forces that do not wear a badge on their uniform shirts.[6]

Their rank structure is as listed:

Rank Insignia Description
US-O6 insignia.svg
The Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol holds the rank of colonel.
Lieutenant Colonel
US-O5 insignia.svg
The assistant superintendent oversees the Patrol's Professional Standards and Public Information and Education divisions as well as the Patrol's legal counsel.
US-O4 insignia.svg
Majors are responsible for a command within the state police.
US-O3 insignia.svg
A captain is a troop commander in the Field Operations Bureau or a division commander in one of the other bureaus.
US-O2 insignia.svg
A lieutenant is the commander of each barrack. Other Lieutenants may command a unit.
U.S. police sergeant yellow rank chevrons.svg
Sergeants act as shift commanders or duty officers.
Corporal Prince George's County Sheriff's Office.svg
Corporals are the first-line supervisors and are usually assigned as road supervisors within barracks. In the absence of a sergeant, they may act as the duty officer.
Trooper Candidates successfully completing the academy and field training are appointed as troopers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c USDOJ Statistics
  2. ^ Colonel J. Bret Johnson Sworn Into Office
  3. ^ Missouri General Assembly web site
  4. ^ Missouri State Highway Patrol web site - The Ultimate Sacrifice
  5. ^ The Officer Down Memorial Page
  6. ^ Kidd, R. Spencer (2012). Uniforms of the U.S. State Police & Highway Patrols. lulu.com. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-4717-7729-5. OCLC 929822564. 

External links[edit]