JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety is departing from the position at the end of the month, elevating the first woman to the lead the state’s Highway Patrol to acting-director.
Governor Mike Parson announced on August 17 that Charles (Drew) Juden will be leaving effective August 31, 2018 in the first cabinet shakeup under the new administration. Colonel Sandra K. Karsten will step into the position of acting-director until a new director is appointed while also conserve as superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
“Drew is a well accomplished public servant. We appreciate his time and service to the State of Missouri and wish him well in the future,” said Parson. “Colonel Karsten has a long track record of being a top-notch professional and an exemplary public servant. We are confident in her leadership during this transition.”
Karsten is not only the first woman to take on the role of superintendent, but she was also the first female officer to be promoted to the ranks of lieutenant, captain, major, and lieutenant-colonel in the Highway Patrol.
“Governor Parson asked if I would be willing to assist during the Department’s transition, and I am more than happy to help. Ensuring the public’s safety has been a top priority in my 33-year career in law enforcement, and it always will be,” said Colonel Karsten.
Alisha Shurr was a reporter for The Missouri Times and The Missouri Times Magazine. She joined The Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University.