Unionville graduate to retire from Missouri State Highway Patrol after 33-years

Sandra Karsten
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Colonel Sandra K. Karsten, 23rd superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, has announced she will retire effective September 1, 2018, after 33 years of dedicated service.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of Missouri as a member of the Missouri State Highway Patrol,” said Colonel Sandra K. Karsten. “For the past 33 years, I have strived to live by the Patrol’s core values, to treat others as I wish to be treated, and to connect with each person who has crossed my path either professionally or personally.”

Colonel Sandra Karsten
Colonel Sandra Karsten

Karsten was appointed to the Patrol on September 1, 1985, as a member of the 57th Recruit Class. During her 33-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.

As a major, she began serving as a member of the Patrol’s command staff. In 2012, she was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and was designated assistant superintendent, where she acted in the superintendent’s absence and had direct oversight responsibility for the Professional Standards Division and Public Information and Education Division. 

Karsten was appointed 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 was elevated to the rank of colonel. She was sworn in on March 14, 2017. Colonel Karsten is the first female to have held 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.

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