The Missouri State Highway Patrol is turning 90 this year.
It all started in 1931 with a superintendent, six captains, 55 troopers and a few civilians, each getting credit for launching the history of service and protection offered by the ‘Patrol.
“Even though we’ve grown and changed over the last 90 years, our focus is still keeping our State a safe place. We focus on traffic safety, reducing the number of severe traffic crashes and we try to keep fatal traffic crashes from occurring” says Lieutenant Eric Brown, “When you look back to the first fleet of vehicles we had, it was 36 new Model A Ford Roadsters, 1 Ford Sedan, 1 Plymouth Sedan, An Oldsmobile, 1 Buick, 3 Chevy’s and 12 Harley’s.”
Brown tells KRMS the Highway Patrol has added more departments and responsibilities over the years, like crime labs, driver testing, criminal records, gaming enforcement and others.
He says Troopers don’t even need paper to write a ticket “They use a computer and a printer in the car. The cameras in the cars, which capture footage inside and outside the car, are very high tech and digital now.”
Today, the ‘Patrol has close to 12-hundred members.
EMPHASIS: MSHP Marks 90 Years Of Service & Protection
A letter from Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol:
For nine decades, the Missouri State Highway Patrol has answered the call to serve and protect the citizens of this great state. In 1931, a superintendent, six captains, 49 troopers, and a few civilians launched the legacy of exceptional service and protection that remains. From these humble beginnings evolved the full-service law enforcement agency you know today. Our employees have embraced each additional responsibility–the crime laboratory, driver testing, criminal records, commercial vehicle enforcement, motor vehicle inspection, criminal investigation, gaming enforcement, and marine operations, to name a few. Numerous natural disasters and serious incidents, increasing social unrest, and most recently, the coronavirus pandemic inspire us to continue being Missouri’s beacon of integrity, professionalism, and compassion. Throughout our history, the Patrol has endured crises, emergencies, and challenges that consistently revealed the true quality of our people and our mission.
Patrol employees have shown the public we are ladies and gentlemen who serve and protect one contact, one stakeholder at a time for 90 years. Our employees have been and will continue to be connected to the community in which they live. We are your neighbors, school board members, and local volunteers.
As we recognize how far we’ve come since 1931, we are creating a vision for our future. Our vision is simple: We are committed to being professional, courteous, compassionate, resourceful, and responsible. We will hold ourselves to the highest degree of integrity and show respect to all people. We will excel as a criminal justice leader and to help ensure Missouri is a safe place to live or visit. The Patrol’s 1,191 members, 524 uniformed civilians, and 544 civilians are living examples of its vision, mission, and core values. We are honored to serve and protect the people of this great state.