JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri- Colonel Sandra K. Karsten, 23rd superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, was sworn in at 3:30 p.m. on March 14, 2017, during a ceremony at General Headquarters, Jefferson City. The Honorable Carol England, Associate Circuit Court Judge–Division VI, administered the Oath of Office to the new colonel.
The ceremony included the presentation of colors by Troop F Color Guard, national anthem sung by Recruit Bradley Lueckenhoff, and invocation by Dr. Wilfred Karsten. Governor Eric Greitens provided special remarks, and Colonel Karsten spoke to those attending the celebration.
“I am honored and humbled to take the Oath of Office as the 23rd superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol,” said Colonel Sandra K. Karsten.
Karsten was appointed to the Patrol on September 1, 1985, as a member of the 57th Recruit Class. During her 31-year career with the Patrol, Karsten has worked as a road trooper in Callaway and Audrain counties. She obtained the rank of corporal and sergeant and was assigned assistant zone commander and designated zone commander, respectively, in Troop F.
In 1996, Karsten transferred to the General Headquarters in Jefferson City. She was assigned to the Field Operations Bureau where she was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and later to the rank of captain. In 2001, Karsten transferred to the Human Resources Division as the director of that division. In 2011, she was promoted to the rank of major and designated commander of the Administrative Services Bureau; then later transferred as the commander of the Technical Services Bureau. In 2012, she was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel where she served as a member of the Patrol’s command staff. As assistant superintendent, Karsten acted in the superintendent’s absence and had direct oversight responsibility for the Professional Standards Division and Public Information and Education Division. Governor Eric Greitens appointed Karsten to become the 23rd superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol on February 1, 2017. The Missouri Senate confirmed her appointment Thursday, March 9, 2017. As a result of her confirmation, she has been elevated to the rank of colonel. Colonel Karsten is the first female to hold the position of superintendent during the Patrol’s 85-year history.
Colonel Karsten graduated from Putnam County High School in Unionville, Missouri. She earned Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from Truman State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri. Karsten is also a graduate of the Northwestern University Traffic Institute’s School of Police Staff and Command. Colonel Karsten and her husband, Tim, have two sons, John and Paul.