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Acting superintendent of highway patrol tapped for role permanently


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The acting superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol will be stepping into the role on a permanent basis.

On Tuesday, Gov. Mike Parson announced that Lt. Col. Eric Olson will be the new superintendent of the state law enforcement agency that has roughly 1,300 troopers. He will be replacing Col. Sandy Karsten who retired in September 2018 to become director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

“This is certainly a humbling experience for me and I will do my best to represent the patrol that is consistent with those that have gone before me,” Olson said.

A native of Chillicothe, Olson graduated from Chillicothe High School, earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from William Jewell College, and completed the FBI National Academy.

Olson was appointed to the State Highway Patrol on July 1, 1990, as a member of the 63rd Recruit Class. He started out in Mercer County and has since served in Maysville, Holt County, Harrison County, Macon, Lee’s Summit, and Jefferson City. He continued moving through the ranks, making lieutenant in 2004, captain in 2014, major in 2017, and lieutenant colonel in 2017.

He now becomes the 24th superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Olson will continue to serve as acting-superintendent as he awaits confirmation by the Missouri Senate.

“A key mission of government is keeping the public safe and Missouri’s State Highway Patrol is one of the nation’s finest law enforcement agencies,” said Parson. “Lieutenant Colonel Olson has demonstrated the professionalism and integrity the Missouri State Highway Patrol is known for throughout his career. I have great confidence his experience and qualifications make him the right selection to lead the agency into the future.”

Watch the full press conference below: