June Sworn Employees of the Month

Sworn Employee of the MonthSworn Employee of the Month

J. Todd Hedrick and Dave Nelson
Sergeant                          Corporal
Missouri State Highway Patrol

June Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Karen McHugh
Floodplain Manager and State National Flood Insurance Program Coordinator
State Emergency Management Agency

Sergeant Todd Hedrick and Corporal Dave Nelson, of the Missouri State Highway Patrol Gaming Division, are the June 2021 DPS Sworn Employees of the Month for their outstanding criminal investigation stemming from a report of suspicious activity.

On Dec. 5, 2020, Todd and Dave responded to a vehicle in the River City Casino parking garage. Their contact with two individuals led them to request and gain consent to search the vehicle, which yielded numerous syringes and pill capsules containing Fentanyl. During extended interviews, the suspects told the troopers they purchased the Fentanyl in a hotel room at the casino.

Additional investigation identified two subjects in the hotel room, both of whom had numerous felony arrest warrants. Todd and Dave, with the assistance of the St. Louis County Police, made contact with the occupants of the hotel room. Both were arrested without incident. A search of the hotel room revealed an active “pill mill,” illegally manufacturing pill capsules containing narcotics. Loose Fentanyl powder, pill capsules, pill presses, and a loaded firearm were found in the room. Over 90 grams of pure Fentanyl was seized.

Todd and Dave’s fine investigative work led to four arrests and the seizure of deadly narcotics, preventing them from reaching the public and potential Fentanyl overdoses.

Karen McHugh, of the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, is the DPS June 2021 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month. She was chosen for her extraordinary commitment to making Missouri a leader in floodplain management.

Karen works tirelessly with SEMA’s state, federal and local partners to help Missouri communities protect residents and businesses against flooding and manage floodplains. Recently, Karen was nominated by her peers and selected by FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) as the best in the nation for her excellence and technical knowledge in the management of a federal grant to provide flood loss reduction measures.

Karen successfully navigated the use of the new tools during the application process, overcame several state-specific challenges, and her passion for the program inspired fellow team members. Karen consistently strives for excellence and exceeds all expectations of her job duties. As a result, Missourians and communities across the state benefit because of her expertise in floodplain management and knowledge of FEMA programs.


The Missouri Department of Public Safety. Many Missions. One Team.