Sworn Team Member of the Month

Sworn Team Member of the Month

Robbie Sterner
Senior Commissioned Investigator
Division of Fire Safety

Robbie Sterner, a Division of Fire Safety Senior Commissioned Investigator based in Region G, is the March 2022 DPS Sworn Team Member of the Month for his dedication and professionalism, and the recent additional duties he has taken on in other regions of the state.

Over a six-month period, a total of four experienced fire investigators and supervisors left their positions in neighboring Regions C and E. In order to continue to provide professional fire and explosion investigation assistance to local fire service agencies in those areas, Robbie responded to requests for investigations in southern Region C and all of Region E. This required working many additional hours and logging hundreds of miles, but Sterner answered the calls without complaint or hesitation.

In addition, as new commissioned investigators joined the DFS team, Robbie continued to respond and provided extensive field training in the specialized, highly technical skills required to properly investigate fires and explosions.

Robbie is an outstanding example of what it means to be a public servant, and his training and mentoring of less experienced investigators helps ensure that the tradition of professionalism and dedicated service will continue at DFS in the years to come.

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Marisa Wise
Homeland Security Specialist
Office of the Director

Marisa Wise, a Homeland Security Specialist in the Office of the Director, is the DPS March 2022 Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month for recently voluntarily taking on additional duties to ensure Missouri’s ability to share information with security partners in the event of a critical incident.

Over the past year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been rebuilding the Homeland Security Information Network, its official system for secure information sharing among homeland security partners across the nation. In Missouri, DPS’s Office of Homeland Security administers HSIN and acts as coordinator between federal, state and local partners. Recognizing that the federal upgrade process was affecting HSIN functionality in Missouri, Marisa took the initiative and single-handedly developed a new Missouri HSIN interface page that restored full functionality weeks ahead of schedule. DHS was so impressed with Marisa’s design and implementation that it now plans to use it as a model for other stakeholders around the U.S.

Marisa is the ultimate multi-tasker, consistently excelling at meeting numerous responsibilities for essential homeland security programs, but her initiative, skill and care with the HSIN project were exceptional and advanced Missouri’s ability to strengthen security across our state.


Sworn Team Member of the Month

Sworn Team Member of the Month

Travis Pugh
Senior Commissioned Fire Investigator
Division of Fire Safety

Senior Commissioned Fire Investigator Travis Pugh is the February DPS Sworn Team Member of the Month for his sustained and successful efforts to advance the Division of Fire Safety’s investigative capabilities and the safety of investigators through grant funding.

Although it is not part of his assigned duties, over the last three years, Travis has taken the time to search and apply for federal grants to better equip DFS investigators. Beginning in 2019, Travis applied for a total of six grants and received four grant awards, including for portable investigation scene lighting and hydrocarbon detectors for all DFS investigators. The lighting provides for more thorough and safer investigative work at fire scenes. The hydrocarbon detectors help protect investigators by alerting them to the presence of combustible gases at investigation scenes.

Through Travis’ efforts, DFS has received important investigative equipment totaling almost $27,000.

In addition, Travis is a motivated and energetic self-starter who carries out all his assigned responsibilities with precision and in a timely manner. Thank you for advancing the Division of Fire Safety and supporting the safety and wellbeing of your colleagues across Missouri!

Non-Sworn Team Members of the Month

Non-Sworn Team Members of the MonthNon-Sworn Team Members of the MonthNon-Sworn Team Members of the Month

Michelle Branson, Amelia Jaegers, and Joni McCarter
CJ/LE Grants Supervisor
Lead Grant Specialist
Grants Program Manager

Office of the Director

Michelle Branson, Amelia Jaegers and Joni McCarter, of the DPS Homeland Security Grants Program, are the DPS February 2022 Non-Sworn Team Members of the Month. They’re being recognized for redesigning and dramatically streamlining the administration and processing of the Missouri Deputy Sheriff Salary Supplementation Fund (DSSSF) grant, a program that provides about $4 million a year in state funding to support over 1,600 lower-paid deputy sheriffs across Missouri.

Each year, the DSSSF grant provides additional pay of up to $10,000 in some cases to raise deputies’ salaries, often in rural counties with a limited local tax base. The program, managed by the Missouri Sheriff Methamphetamine Relief Taskforce (MoSMART) Board of Directors, is critical to attracting and retaining POST-licensed officers to protect these area of the state.

Beginning in January 2021, Michelle, Amelia and Joni worked tirelessly to analyze each step of the annual grant application, review and administrative processes. Working with the MoSMART board, they conducted a pilot project and tested a new grant application, invoicing system and payment processing mechanism, which eliminated unnecessary steps and dramatically sped up the entire process.

Their work cut the amount of time sheriffs’ offices had to devote to the DSSSF grant while still providing the MoSMART board with the necessary information to make funding decisions. Most remarkably, Michelle, Amelia and Joni’s work reduced the Office of the Director’s grant staff time required to administer the grant by more than 400 hours each month! This freed up staff to work on new grants that have recently been assigned to the DPS Office of the Director.

Congratulations to Michelle, Amelia and Joni for a great job that benefited taxpayers and communities across the state!


Sworn Team Member of the Month

Sworn Team Member of the Month

Kyle Fulkerson
Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control

Kyle Fulkerson, a Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control Agent based in Kansas City, is the January 2022 DPS Sworn Team Member of the Month for the professionalism he demonstrates on the job each day, including during a recent investigation of a bar for illegally remaining open beyond permitted hours of operation.

In October, Kyle was one of four ATC agents investigating a licensee at about 1:50 a.m. for operating beyond statutorily permitted operating hours. Several customers were not cooperative with agents and one was abusive and threatened violence. Kyle remained calm and de-escalated the situation despite repeated attempts by the person to provoke a confrontation.

Kyle joined ATC in January 2020 and was assigned to liquor enforcement. This month, he is transitioning to the tobacco enforcement section.

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Tori Cook
Health Information Manager
Missouri Veterans Commission

Tori Cook, Health Information Manager at the Missouri Veterans Commission’s Cameron Veterans Home, is the DPS January 2022 Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month. In addition to excelling at her assigned duties, Tori regularly supports other programs at the Cameron Home and MVC headquarters, and recently was a key leader as MVC transitioned to a completely new software program to manage individual Veteran care and track results across the Homes Program.

Tori led the Cameron Home’s training efforts, the implementation at the six other homes in rolling out their software transitions and coordinated with MVC headquarters.

Tori’s commitment to the team, her clear communication of objectives and timetables, and her positive attitude helped relieve anxiety during the transition and was critical in the success of this important changeover. MVC is fortunate to have Tori on the team for 19 years.