JEFFERSON CITY — Col. Sandra K. Karsten, 23rd superintendent of the Missouri Highway Patrol, was sworn in Tuesday during a ceremony at General Headquarters, Jefferson City.
Associate Circuit Court Judge Carol England administered the oath 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.
"I am honored and humbled to take the oath of office as the 23rd superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol," Karsten said.
She was appointed to the patrol on Sept. 1, 1985, as a member of the 57th recruit class. Her career began as a trooper in Callaway County. During her 31-year career with the Patrol, Karsten attained the ranks of corporal and sergeant, and she served as assistant zone commander and designated zone commander, respectively, in Troop F.
In 1996, Karsten transferred to the General Headquarters. She was assigned to the Field Operations Bureau where she was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and later to captain. In 2001, Karsten transferred to the Human Resources Division as director. In 2011, she was promoted to the rank of major and designated commander of the Administrative Services Bureau. She later shifted to commander of the Technical Services Bureau.
In 2012, she was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and 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 the Public Information and Education Division.
Gov. Eric Greitens appointed Karsten as superintendent of the Highway Patrol on Feb. 1. The state Senate confirmed the appointment March 9.
As a result of her confirmation, she has been elevated to the rank of colonel. Karsten is the first female to hold the position of superintendent during the Patrol's 85-year history.