Lane J. Roberts, former Joplin Police Chief, running for Missouri House of Representatives


JOPLIN, Mo. – Lane J. Roberts, retired chief of the Joplin Police Department and former Director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, seeks to replace term-limited State Rep. Bill White. The district includes Newton and Jasper Counties.

Roberts worked in law enforcement for over 40 years and was serving as Joplin’s Police Chief when the community was struck by the devastating EF-5 tornado in 2011. Additionally, Roberts served in the United States Air Force from 1966 to 1970, serving in the Philippines and Vietnam before returning to the States in 1968.

“It has been an immense honor and privilege to have been able to serve for so many years.” Roberts stated, “I have always believed in public service. I believe that my experiences have equipped me to serve the people once again. However, this time, I will fight for their interests in Jefferson City.”


Roberts, who is a member of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association, was honored as the Police Chief of the Year in 2013. He is also is a member of the Joplin Elks USA. In the past, he served as a former member of the Area Agency on Aging, which provides assistance and care for elderly Missourians.

Naturally, Roberts has named public safety as a top legislative priority. He applauds the Missouri General Assembly and Governor Greitens for passing Blue Alert legislation this past session and he would like to see a first responders bill of rights passed, as well. In addition, he lists improving Missouri’s transportation and education systems, all while making sure state government is fiscally conservative when dealing with taxpayer money.

Roberts said, “I devoted my career to defending the lives and rights of Americans. Now I want to fight for the rights of Missourians in the halls of our state capitol. I vow to protect the interests of our first responders and police officers, and to stand by the men and women in uniform who stand by us.” He went on to say, “At the same time, we need to invest in our infrastructure and identify sound funding solutions for our highways, roads and bridges. It is also imperative that we improve on education outcomes so that Missouri students are prepared for a modern 21st-century economy upon graduating.”

Describing himself as both pro-2nd Amendment and pro-life, Roberts affirmed, “I believe in our rights as spelled out in the constitution. I believe in the sanctity of life in all stages of development, and I believe that we need to make sure our government protects those rights, especially the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves—the unborn.”

Roberts graduated with a BS from Liberty University in Virginia, and with an MBA from William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri. He and his wife have three grown children: Tisha, Daphne, and Tiffany. They are also the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Roberts has retained Axiom Strategies to consult on his campaign.

Rachael Herndon is the editor at The Missouri Times, and also produces This Week in Missouri Politics, publishes Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosts the #moleg podcast. She joined the Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.

Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.

To contact Rachael, email, or via Twitter @TheRachDunn.