March Sworn Team Members of the Month

Sworn Team Member of the MonthSworn Team Member of the Month

Brian Baker and Joe Jones
Senior Commissioned Fire Investigators
Division of Fire Safety

March Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Ronda Schmitt
Missouri Veterans Commission

Brian Baker and Joe Jones are the March 2023 DPS Sworn Team Members of the Month for the thoroughness of their work and the determination they exhibited during a complex investigation into two incendiary fires in December 2022.

On Dec. 23, 2022, Senior Commissioned Fire Investigators Brian and Joe were called to investigate a fire inside a large warehouse in Mexico, Mo. Brian responded despite being off duty for the Christmas holiday. The two investigators collected physical evidence and surveillance video during a textbook, professional investigation, and determined the fire had been set. They then proceeded to a second fire in an apartment complex in the area. This investigation involved excavation of the scene at a time when temperatures were below zero. The excavation required breaking through ice build-up and the use of heavy equipment. The body of a woman who had died was located.

Working with the Mexico Department of Public Safety in extreme winter weather for several days, Brian and Joe recovered key evidence and identified burn patterns that helped connect the fires and led to arson and murder charges being filed in the case. The charges are mere accusations and not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of the charges must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

Ronda Schmitt, a paralegal in the Missouri Veterans Commission headquarters in Jefferson City, is the March 2023 Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month.

Ronda was selected for her leadership and perseverance during a six-month project to review and update the Missouri Veterans Commission’s policy manuals, which were disparate documents, varying between MVC programs, and which often had never been converted to electronic documents.

Ronda’s outstanding organizational abilities were necessary to accomplish this herculean feat, which was done with patience, determination and skill. Ronda also convened the policy review committee to ensure critical policies were updated to meet current industry standards. Her commitment to excellence and concern for staff and Missouri’s veterans resulted in fully aligned, comprehensive documents that will serve MVC well into the future.


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