Director Karsten names Jones, Walker to top posts in Department of Public Safety


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten today announced the appointment of two veteran Missouri public safety leaders to top positions in the Department of Public Safety.

  • Kenny Jones has been named Deputy Director of the Department of Public Safety. He began working at the department today.
  • Ron Walker began serving as Director of the State Emergency Management Agency, a division of the Department of Public Safety, on Oct. 9.

“Kenny Jones and Ron Walker bring decades of hands-on public service experience and leadership to the Department of Public Safety team,” Karsten said. “Each of them understands the critical importance of working closely with our local response partners, strengthening our capabilities so we make Missouri safer, and being fully accountable to the people we serve.”

Kenny Jones served as Chairman of the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole until his resignation from that position on Monday. He had been a member of the board since 2012. Jones served as Moniteau County Sheriff from 1985 to 2004. He owned a small business, AA Propane, in Moniteau County, from 2010 to 2012. Jones was a member of the Missouri State Highway Patrol from 1973 to 1984 and served in the Missouri House of Representatives from District 117 from 2005 to 2010. In that role, he was a member of the Missouri Emergency Response Commission.

Ron Walker had served as Deputy Director of the State Emergency Management Agency since February 2017. He served as SEMA Director from July 2014 to February 2017. During Walker’s tenure, SEMA had responsibility for the state’s response to and recovery from four federally declared major disasters. Walker began his career in law enforcement as a member of the Jefferson City Police Department in 1977. He was appointed to the Missouri State Highway Patrol in 1978 and rose to the rank of captain, before retiring from the Patrol in 2013.