November Sworn Team Members of the Month

Sworn Team Member of the Month

Ryan Barnes

Sworn Team Member of the Month

Stephen Murphy

Sworn Team Member of the Month

Jesse Sproat

Senior Commissioned Investigators
Missouri Division of Fire Safety

November Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Sworn Team Member of the Month

Christopher Cendroski
Maintenance Staff
Missouri Veterans Commission

Ryan Barnes, Stephen Murphy and Jesse Sproat are the November DPS Sworn Team Members of the Month for their prompt and thorough investigation of a church fire in Iron County in September that led to arson charges being filed.

As Senior Commissioned Fire Investigators, Ryan, Stephen and Jesse conduct fire and explosion investigations when local authorities request assistance. At about 3 a.m. on Sept. 14, Jesse responded to Ironton Gospel Trinity Church of God, which was heavily damaged in a fire. The fire was quickly determined to have been intentionally set and during the scene investigation there was evidence it had been burglarized and property had been stolen.

DFS was the lead agency in the investigation, and Ryan and Stephen joined Jesse in working most of the day to complete and document the scene investigation. An investigative lead led the three to the stolen property and then identification of a suspect. The suspect was barricaded inside a residence. Jesse obtained a search warrant for the residence. Working with the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Office and Farmington Police, Ryan, Stephen and Jesse secured the perimeter around the residence and then took the suspect into custody without incident.

The investigators conducted interviews and connected the suspect to a second arson case. He was taken into custody and charged with two counts of arson and one count of burglary. A second suspect was taken into custody and has been charged with two counts of stealing. During an intense and rapidly developing investigation, Ryan, Stephen and Jesse demonstrated dedication, tenacity and professionalism.

The Pilot Knob Fire Department and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also participated in the investigation. The above charges are mere accusations and not evidence of guilt.

Christopher Cendroski, a Maintenance/Grounds Technician at the Missouri Veterans Home – Mt. Vernon, is the November 2022 DPS Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month for his tremendous dedication to veterans and the many things he does beyond his assigned duties in order to improve their lives.

Chris not only is extremely skilled at solving maintenance issues, he willingly reports to the Mt. Vernon Home no matter the time of day to ensure the safety and wellbeing of veterans and staff. His friendly personality and generosity raise the spirits of all in the home. Chris is such a talented cook that at the request of veterans he now prepares special meals on a monthly basis. To accomplish this, Chris works with local suppliers that donate meat, including whole hogs.

Chris is also an active member of the Employee Involvement Committee, creating engaging and fun activities for fundraisers. He has even dressed up as the Easter Bunny, Santa, and an elf to raise spirits. Through his hard work, generosity and compassion for the home’s veterans, Chris truly lives the MVC core value of service before self.

Congratulations to all the Team Members of the Month! You have set an outstanding example for your co-workers throughout the Department of Public Safety.


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