December

Sworn Employee of the Month

December 2020 Sworn Employee of the Month

Jason Ashby
Corporal
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Jason Ashby, a corporal in the Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control, is the December 2020 DPS Sworn Employee of the Month for his decisive, life-saving actions that saved a life after a deadly boating collision

On the evening of July 24, 2020, Jason was off duty and a passenger on a boat with four others on Lake of the Ozarks. As the boat traveled south near the 18-mile marker of the main channel just after midnight it was struck on the port side by another boat in a major crash. Jason was knocked unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he and the boat operator immediately went to assist the three other passengers, a mother, father and their 13-year-old daughter.

The mother was deceased in the crash. Jason shouted for a resident on the shore to call 911 and request three ambulances and a helicopter. Working in the darkness, Jason found that the teenager was not breathing and had no pulse. He moved her to the rear bench of the boat and began CPR. At one point the patient had a weak pulse but it quickly faded.

The boat operator was tending to the girl’s father, who had a weak pulse and shallow breathing. Jason directed the operator to restart the boat and head for the shore. At the shore, Jason carried the girl off the boat and, on a wooden dock, continued to perform CPR for several more minutes. Eventually, the girl began breathing again.

When EMS arrived, Jason and an unidentified man carried the girl off the dock up a steep flight of stairs. EMS took over her care, and then flew her and her father to a hospital. Jason was later transported to a hospital, where he was treated for his injuries. The girl spent time on a ventilator and her father required surgery, but they were expected to make full recoveries. The operator of the other vessel was charged with boating while intoxicated.

Jason’s quick thinking and decisive action saved the young girl’s life.


Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

December 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Drew M. Wansing
Computer Information Technology Specialist II
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Drew M. Wansing, of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, is the DPS December 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month.

Drew, who has worked as an application developer in the Patrol’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division for 14 years, was selected for the exceptional work he has done recently on several important programs that have improved performance and assisted the public. Drew worked nights, weekends and holidays to meet critical deadlines.

Drew was integral in the success of the new MoAlerts app, which gets updated AMBER Alert information to the public, handling traffic volume the previous system could not have handled through an interface with the national Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS). The Patrol’s work in this area received recognition from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in July.

Drew has also done excellent work to create a new Missouri Victim Automated Notification System (MOVANS) interface, which provides updated criminal justice case information to crime victims. He has also done outstanding work updating MULES 5 systems that allow law enforcement agencies to share criminal history information. A recent project he led set up a new web service to bring electronic warrants online, which has been a valuable addition for Missouri law enforcement agencies and courts.

Drew also mentors junior staff members, sharing his expertise and experience as well as setting an outstanding example for others.

November

Sworn Employee of the Month

November 2020 Sworn Employee of the Month

Nicholas D. Berry
Master Sergeant
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Nicholas D. Berry, a master sergeant in the Highway Patrol’s Troop B, is the November 2020 DPS Sworn Employee of the Month for his tremendous success in taking drunk drivers off the road, which recently led to Nicholas making his 1,000th driving while intoxicated arrest

 When he was 17 years old, Nicholas was in a vehicle that was broadsided by a drunk driver in St. Louis County. The crash left three of his friends with serious injuries. When Nicholas decided on a career in law enforcement, he felt a special motivation to remove impaired drivers from the roads

 Over his entire 26-year career with the Patrol, Nicholas has prioritized detecting and arresting impaired drivers. His peak year was 1998, when he made 73 drunk driving arrests. This past July, Nicholas amassed an astounding 18 DWI arrests during a single month. On July 26, while working as part of a specialized DWI enforcement effort, Nicholas reached 1,000 DWI arrests, putting him in an elite group of troopers to have reached that milestone

 In addition to undoubtedly saving lives by removing drunk drivers from Missouri’s roads, Nicholas is a leader in Troop B and a role model who sets an example for others of perseverance, dedication and empathizing with victims.


Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

November 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Hope Heaper-Hayes
Licensed Practical Nurse III
Missouri Veterans Commission

Hope Heaper-Hayes, of the Missouri Veterans Commission’s Warrensburg Veterans Home, is the DPS November 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Hope was selected for the excellent job she does providing care to the veterans in the Warrensburg Home, her positive, team spirit, and her commitment to advancing her skills and taking on additional responsibilities

Hope was a tremendous addition to the Warrensburg Home when she joined the team as a Nursing Assistant in October 2014. Less than two years later, Hope began pursuing her dream of becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse. Once she completed her LPN training, she began working toward he Bachelor of Science degree to become a Registered Nurse.

Hope’s flexibility and willingness to cover extra shifts, combined with her critical-thinking skills, exuberant personality, and hard work make her an invaluable asset for the Warrensburg Veterans Home.

October

Sworn Employee of the Month

October 2020 Sworn Employee of the Month

Esteban M. Reynoso
Trooper
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Esteban M. Reynoso, a trooper in the Highway Patrol’s Troop C, is the October 2020 DPS Sworn Employee of the Month for his investigative initiative that led to the rescue of a child abuse victim and criminal charges.

On May 2, Esteban responded to a call for a pedestrian in a road at the end of his midnight shift. In a remote area near the St. Charles – Warren County line he found a 12-year-old boy was walking along the road. As Esteban spoke with the boy, he noted inconsistencies in his story. He noticed the boy had several bruises and asked if the boy had been abused. He denied it.

But Esteban had recently received training in the Patrol’s Interdiction for the Protection of Children program, which teaches Patrol members to identify signs of potential abuse and to establish a rapport with victims, who are often reluctant to report abuse out of fear.

Utilizing his Patrol IPC training, Esteban worked to build trust with the youngster. The boy eventually opened up and began to share that his father and stepmother physically abused him. He had allegedly escaped only because his parents have forgotten to handcuff him to his bed that day. When Esteban found him, the juvenile was malnourished and weighed just 76 pounds, about 45 pounds less than he had weighed four months earlier. The boy received medical treatment for malnourishment.

The case was turned over to local law enforcement, which arrested the boy’s parents for felony child abuse. Additional charges were issued against the father, including for kidnapping.

At the end of a midnight shift, Esteban could have simply listened to the victim’s initial story and taken the child back to his parents. Instead, Esteban took a genuine interest in the child’s welfare, established a rapport with him, got to the truth, and helped give the child a chance at a better life.

*Named Missouri State Employee of the Month for November 2020


Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

October 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Darrin Wray
Training Site Facilities Supervisor
Missouri National Guard

Darrin E. Wray of the Missouri National Guard’s Macon training site, is the DPS October 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month.

Darrin has been part of the Missouri National Guard – in uniform and as a civilian – and the Macon Training Site since the Guard acquired it in 1988. He became Macon Training Site Facilities Supervisor in 2017.

He’s being honored for his attention to detail and outstanding coordination as he has overseen numerous complex projects at the site, including a Special Reaction Team course, a Bivouac site, installation of an ES 2000 weapons simulator, a year-round potable water point, pistol and 5.56 25-meter ranges, Humvee driving courses, and initial construction of a new company headquarters building.

While in uniform from 1988 to 2000, Darrin served in Delta Co., 1138th Engineer Battalion and Alpha Company, 110th Combat Engineer Battalion at Macon.

In his role as supervisor, he is responsible for daily activities and oversight of purchasing and procurement, resolving conflicts, training, and supervising the staff. In addition, he has responsibility for setting work schedules and estimating costs for projects performed by his staff.

Darrin also troubleshoots maintenance repairs and contracts for repairs on buildings, ranges, equipment, roads and grounds, and plans projects and oversees the completion of projects onsite. He also serves as the training site’s environmental coordinator.

September

Sworn Employee of the Month

September 2020 Sworn Employee of the Month

Dale B. Pounds
Sergeant
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Dale B. Pounds, a sergeant in the Highway Patrol’s Troop G, is the September 2020 DPS Sworn Employee of the Month for his attention to detail and initiative while patrolling Missouri roadways.

On Jan. 15, during a traffic stop in Texas County, the driver advised Dale of his status as a registered sex offender. He also told Dale his insurance card was on his phone and handed his cell phone to Dale, who confirmed the driver’s insurance was valid. When he handed the phone back to the driver, the man touched the screen and revealed what appeared to be nude photo of an underage female.

The driver then consented to allow Dale to search the phone and assisted with its navigation. Dale observed additional photos of what appeared to be underage children and requested and received permission for a thorough review of the phone’s contents. A forensic examination revealed 1,862 images of child pornography. The case was turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Springfield and the suspect is in federal custody pending trial in federal court. 


Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

September 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Linda Benyo
Temporary Building and Grounds Maintenance
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Linda Benyo, of the Highway Patrol’s Troop G, is the DPS September 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month for her amazing work-ethic, dedication and resourcefulness during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When a directive was issued that only essential team members could work in their physical work spaces, Linda created a sanitization schedule that meant she would have to work seven days a week, constantly cleaning and sanitizing essential areas of the troop. Linda continued to perform these duties for 46 consecutive days in order to protect her co-workers. During this period, in the height of the pandemic, not a single Troop G team member contracted the COVID-19 virus or any other illness.

August

Sworn Employees of the Month

August 2020 Sworn Employee of the MonthAugust 2020 Sworn Employee of the MonthAugust 2020 Sworn Employee of the Month

Eric Bartel, Dustin Reed, and Andrew Woods
Corporals
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Eric Bartel, Dustin Reed and Andrew Woods, corporals in the Missouri State Highway Patrol, are the DPS August 2020 Sworn Employees of the Month. The Division of Drug and Crime Control investigators are being recognized for their persistence and thoroughness in a complicated criminal investigation in February.

Throughout their careers, Eric, Dustin and Andrew have shown a commitment to excellence and working to protect and defend all victims of crime.


Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

August 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Bradley J. Dulle
Military Funeral Honors Eastern Area Supervisor
Missouri National Guard

Bradley J. Dulle, of the Missouri National Guard’s Military Funeral Honors program, is the DPS August 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month. Bradley, the program’s eastern area supervisor, is in constant motion, managing his team and coordinating with veterans service organizations to ensure that, upon their passing, Missouri National Guard members and veterans receive the full honors they deserve at their funerals.

Bradley, a retired active duty Missouri National Guard major, manages a team of 20 with responsibility for staffing funeral honors across eastern Missouri. The position requires working almost seven days a week, including holidays, to ensure team members are assigned to all funerals and coordination occurs with more than 70 veterans service organizations.

During his 15 years in his position, Bradley has had responsibility for everything from training team members and accounting to procuring equipment and even personally traveling to funerals to present flags to next of kin when the deceased service member’s rank exceeds any member of the team.

July

Non-Sworn Employees of the Month

July 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the MonthJuly 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the MonthJuly 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Shelly Honse, Rachel McColley, and Robbie Sterner
Fiscal Manager, Strategic National Stockpile Manager, Strategic National Stockpile Planner
State Emergency Management Agency

Shelly Honse, Dan Lund and Sebastian Gely, of the State Emergency Management Agency, are the DPS July 2020 Non-Sworn Employees of the Month for their outstanding work procuring and rapidly distributing Personal Protective Equipment as Missouri responds to COVID-19.

As Fiscal Manager, Shelly has been responsible for ordering PPE, something most had never heard of before March, but which quickly became of critical importance for Missouri. Shelly and her team learned on the fly as demand skyrocketed around the globe. Shelly quickly ordered more than $50 million worth of PPE to protect Missouri’s front-line health care workers and responders.  

Dan had just begun his new role as SEMA Strategic National Stockpile Manager the day before the State Emergency Operations Center activated for COVID-19. With his background as an EMT and paramedic, Dan understood the critical need and quickly established a new system to rapidly and efficiently distribute PPE, and the anti-viral drug Remdesivir, around the state.

As SEMA’s Strategic National Stockpile Planner, within hours of activation, Sebastian installed and implemented a new software system to provide inventory management that ensured accountability by tracking the distribution of PPE to agencies throughout Missouri. He also led important training that explained the new inventory system to other state agencies.


Sworn Employee of the Month

July 2020 Sworn Employee of the Month

Jacob H. Hirner
Trooper
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Jacob H. Hirner, a Trooper in Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop H, is the DPS July 2020 Sworn Employee of the Month for his tremendous work protecting children after completing training designed to identify and interdict motorists who pose a threat to children.

Following completion of the 16-hour course Interdiction for the Protection of Children in September, Jacob arrested five people within a two-month period on felony charges of failing to register as a sex offender. He also made two other arrests – of a sex offender who lived within 1,000 feet of a school or child-care facility, and another for possession of child pornography.

Jacob, a member of the Patrol for less than three years, had already demonstrated outstanding initiative by making 46 felony arrests in 2019. His resourcefulness and dedication to protecting children is making Missouri a safer state.

June

Sworn Employees of the Month

June 2020 Sworn Employee of the MonthJune 2020 Sworn Employee of the MonthJune 2020 Sworn Employee of the Month

John Matney, Rachel McColley, and Robbie Sterner
Fire Investigators
Missouri Division of Fire Safety

Robbie Sterner, Rachel McColley and John Matney, investigators with the Division of Fire Safety, are the June 2020 DPS Sworn Employees of the Month for their tenacity and professionalism in the investigation of a fatal fire.

On April 2, 2020, Robbie began investigating a house fire in Birch Tree, Mo., with a deceased victim found inside. An autopsy revealed the elderly woman had sustained blunt force trauma prior to the fire. Robbie, with the assistance of Rachel, determined the fire had been set.

John was called to assist with interviews and leads. The three investigators continued to work tirelessly for two weeks, following countless leads and conducting numerous interviews in a professional manner. Their efforts, along with assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control and Shannon County Sheriff Darrin Crawley, resulted in two suspects being charged with second degree murder and first degree burglary.

Their long hours, tenacity and dedication resulted in justice for the victim’s family and the citizens of Shannon County.


Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

June 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Kaleb L. Bauer
GIS Technician II
Missouri National Guard

Kaleb L. Bauer, a Geographic Information Systems Technician II, with the Missouri Army National Guard, is the June 2020 DPS Non-Sworn Employee of the Month. He was chosen for his professionalism and speedy work producing GIS maps and other products used to support critical decision-making during the state’s initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the Guard was tasked with leading the effort to identify locations for potential COVID-19 Alternate Care Sites, Kaleb designed and produced multiple high-quality products to assist in analyzing possible locations. This allowed the Guard and partner agencies to have the best visual information possible to support the decision-making process.

He consistently provided quality work that allowed the Guard team to meet tight deadlines. His efforts highlighted his ability to seamlessly transition between work projects, regardless of the topic.

Kaleb started as a GPS/GIS intern less than two years ago and has grown into a leader in the Guard’s small GIS section. He’s also been instrumental in training other Guard GIS personnel.

May

Sworn Employee of the Month

May 2020 Sworn Employee of the Month

Patrick D. Sublette
Corporal
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Patrick D. Sublette, a corporal in the Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control, is the May 2020 DPS Sworn Employee of the Month for his initiative and leadership in the Digital Forensics Investigations Unit.

As supervisor of the Digital Forensics Investigations Unit, Patrick was tasked with helping to select and train investigators from each troop who would work as part-time digital forensic investigators. Their mission was to aggressively investigate leads related to peer-to-peer online sharing of child pornography and other internet crimes against children.

Patrick traveled across the state, taking a mentoring approach, to ensure the part-time investigators understood the technical aspects of these online child pornography digital forensics investigations. This went beyond child pornography to investigate a suspect’s access to children.

Through Patrick’s leadership and training in 2019, the Digital Forensics Investigations Unit conducted 77 investigations, served 79 search warrants, and made 29 arrests. Officers also identified 23 victims of abuse.

Congratulations, Patrick! You have set an outstanding example for your co-workers throughout the Department of Public Safety.


Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

May 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

W. Curt Malzner
Building and Grounds Maintenance Supervisor
Missouri State Highway Patrol

W. Curt Malzner is the Department of Public Safety May 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month for his exceptional work and commitment to the Patrol and its employees.

As Building and Grounds Maintenance Supervisor, Curt is accountable for the first impressions visitors get upon arriving at Patrol General Headquarters. It’s a responsibility he does not take lightly.

On a daily basis, Curt takes the initiative to ensure GHQ’s Waggoner Building is spotless and the grounds are trimmed and neat. He also plans carefully during snow events, and he and his crew are on-site weekends and after hours to ensure driveways and sidewalks are clear and safe.

Curt maintains a positive attitude and continuously looks for ways to improve efficiency. He is a leader who encourages team members to be proactive and mentors them put customer service first. Curt also encourages team members to learn all aspects of buildings and grounds work, so they have the opportunity to advance.

Congratulations, Curt! You’ve set an outstanding example for your fellow team members throughout the Department of Public Safety.

April

Sworn Employees of the Month

April 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the MonthApril 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Chris C. Close and Mark D. Counts
Commercial Vehicle Officer I         Commercial Vehicle Supervisor II
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Chris C. Close and Mark D. Counts, Commercial Vehicle Officers assigned to Troop E of the Missouri State Highway, have been chosen as the April 2020 DPS Sworn Employees of the Month for their quick thinking and prompt actions that saved a truck driver’s life.

Mark and Chris work at the E-3W weigh station in Caruthersville. On Nov. 9, 2019, Mark stopped a commercial vehicle for a random inspection at the weigh station. Mark collected the necessary paperwork, told the driver to meet him inside the weigh station, and walked to the back office. At the time, Chris was positioned inside, weighing vehicles.

While the driver was waiting in the driver area, he collapsed and was gasping for air. Chris informed Mark, and both immediately went to check on the driver. Mark asked Chris to notify Troop E communications and request emergency medical services. The driver had stopped breathing and had no pulse.

The officers attached an automated defibrillator’s electrodes to the driver’s chest and it advised a shock should be administered. After the shock, Mark and Chris began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The driver regained consciousness and was instructed to take deep breaths. An ambulance transported the driver to the hospital; he survived. This incident led to AED units being placed in all Troop E weigh stations.

Congratulations, Mark and Chris! You have set an outstanding example for your co-workers throughout the Department of Public Safety.


Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

April 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Eric S. LeCuru
Property Inventory Controller
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Eric S. LeCuru has been chosen as the Department of Public Safety April 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month for his exceptional work, organizational skills, and expertise related to fixed assets. 

With thousands of employees, buildings and labs across the state, and more than 1,400 vehicles in its fleet, the Missouri State Highway Patrol has more than 26,000 fixed assets in an inventory valued at almost $190 million.

Eric oversees the tracking of all of it. The job has many responsibilities. Each year, he coordinates on-site visits to perform physical inventory audits at General Headquarters and all Patrol troops. He prepares the fixed asset reconciliation statement, ensuring the state ledger and Patrol systems are in alignment.

He inventories and verifies possession of all federal assets annually. In addition, Eric has been coordinating daily meetings with personnel assigned to the Patrol’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, preparing for an effective and efficient transition to a new property inventory system.

These meetings include personnel from various divisions and an outside vendor, and require a large time commitment. Eric also represents the Patrol and lends his expertise in regular meetings regarding a proposed statewide fixed asset component to be housed within the existing SAM II statewide integrated accounting system.

Congratulations, Eric! You’ve set an outstanding example for your fellow team members throughout the Department of Public Safety.

March

Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

March 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Julie Carey
Senior Office Support Assistant
Division of Fire Safety

Julie Carey has been chosen as the Department of Public Safety March 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month for her tremendous organizational skills and dedication to her work in the Division of Fire Safety’s Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety Unit.

Julie is constantly looking for ways to improve services and streamline processes, despite her incredibly full and varied portfolio of responsibilities. She is a Senior Office Support Assistant and has been with DFS for four and a half years.

Julie’s responsibilities includes handling all administrative aspects of boiler and pressure vessel installation permits, operating certificates, violations and invoices. She also handles all variance requests for the Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Rules, along with incoming phone calls and emails. In addition, she is currently helping familiarize the program’s new deputy chief with the accounting and administrative functions of the online data system.

Julie’s position requires dealing with returned billing invoices, incomplete permit information and countless questions from the public. Instead of becoming frustrated, she is constantly finding ways to make processes more efficient and cost effective. She works tirelessly on customer service calls, while simultaneously balancing these duties with supporting field staff with vital information.

For years, satisfied customers have called and written to express how wonderful it is to work with Julie. One satisfied customer recently wrote, “Julie Carey was very helpful, courteous and professional. Any organization would benefit by having employees like her on their team.”

We could not have said it better! Thank you, Julie, for your outstanding work of behalf of the people you serve and the tremendous example you set for team members throughout the Department of Public Safety.

February

Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

February 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Sheila Huddleston
Training Technician III
State Emergency Management Agency

Sheila Huddleston has been chosen as the Department of Public Safety February 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month for her outstanding work organizing a multi-agency, full-scale exercise involving the response to the discovery of a suspicious package containing hazardous materials inside the Missouri Capitol building.

Sheila, of the State Emergency Management Agency, was the lead planner – exercise officer for the exercise, which was critically important for preparing local, state and federal response agencies for how they would respond to a similar real-life emergency at the Capitol.

Sheila is a 19-year veteran of SEMA, where she is a Training Technician III. She previously worked at the Department of Economic Development and has been a state employee since 1999.

Sheila spent almost a year researching, planning and coordinating the exercise to maximize the participation and benefits to all the agencies involved, which included the Department of Public Safety, Missouri Capitol Police, Jefferson City Police, Cole County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri National Guard 7th Weapons of Mass Destruction – Civil Support Team, Department of Natural Resources, Cole County Emergency Management, Cole County Emergency Medical Services, Cole County Emergency Response Team, Jefferson City Fire Department, SEMA and the FBI.

This large undertaking was not within Sheila’s main duties since she is a local exercise planner, not a state exercise planner. Despite handling her normal duties with her usual high level of skill and care, Sheila created a well-coordinated and highly beneficial exercise that got strong reviews from participants.

Congratulations, Sheila! You’ve set a tremendous example for your fellow team members throughout the Department of Public Safety.

January

Sworn Employees of the Month

January 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the MonthJanuary 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Darron F. Blankenship and Greg P. Martin
Lieutenant                       Sergeant
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Lt. Darron F. Blankenship and Sgt. Greg P. Martin, investigators with the Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control, have been selected as the Department of Public Safety January 2020 Sworn Employees of the Month for their outstanding investigative work.

The two veteran investigators, who have been teamed as partners for years, were responsible for a first degree murder charge being filed in a four-year-old murder case.

In 2017, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office requested that the Missouri State Highway Patrol review a 2015 shooting death. No charges had been filed because indications were that the victim had been fatally shot in self-defense by an 18-year-old. The teenager’s father claimed to have witnessed the shooting.

As Darron and Greg began their review of the case, they conducted a systematic statement analysis of the original 911 recording following the shooting. Their analysis identified several discrepancies. Darron and Greg had an independent medical examiner review the case; they reconstructed the crime scene, and determined the shooting could not have occurred as originally described.

Armed with the new evidence and facts they had gathered, this year, Darron and Greg met with the young man who had originally claimed to have shot the victim in self-defense. Upon being re-interviewed, he disclosed that the shooting had been a murder committed by his father. The interview was the final piece of the puzzle that resulted in the first degree murder charge. The case has not yet gone to trial.

Congratulations, Darron and Greg! Your fine investigative work has not only served the cause of justice, it’s set an outstanding example of commitment and perseverance to your fellow team members throughout the Department of Public Safety.


Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

January 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month

Dawn Kliethermes
Criminalist III/AFIS Site Administrator
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Dawn Kliethermes has been chosen as the Department of Public Safety January 2020 Non-Sworn Employee of the Month for her exceptional lab work, organizational skills and efforts to save taxpayers money. 

Dawn, a veteran employee of the Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory Division, is a Criminalist III and the Patrol’s AFIS Site Administrator. AFIS is the national Automated Fingerprint Identification System, which uses digital imaging to obtain, store and analyze fingerprint data to identify criminal suspects.

When the state was testing an extensive upgrade of its AFIS system, Dawn discovered ways to increase the efficiency of the system. For the last three years, she has worked with AFIS engineers to further enhance the system, including working with the FBI to avoid tens of thousands of dollars in fees a vendor would have billed.

Following the May 22, 2019 Jefferson City tornado, Dawn insisted on working despite the fact Governor Parson had given state employees the day off. Dawn believed it was essential for the state to take part in testing of an AFIS software update that had occurred the day before the tornado. Dawn knew the testing was the only ways to make sure that all Missouri law enforcement agencies had access to AFIS. 

These are just two examples of Dawn’s resourcefulness and commitment which make Missouri a safer and more secure state, benefiting law enforcement agencies and citizens alike.

Congratulations, Dawn! You’re set an outstanding example for your fellow team members throughout the Department of Public Safety.