Sworn Team Member of the Month

December Sworn Team Member of the Month

Louis B. Lairmore
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Missouri State Highway Patrol Corporal Louis B. Lairmore, of the Gaming Division, is the DPS Sworn Team Member of the Month for December 2022 for his heroic actions when a motorist was in grave danger on a highway.

At about 5:40 a.m. on July 27, 2022, as he was traveling to work on northbound I-435 in Kansas City, Louis came upon a four-vehicle chain-reaction crash that occurred in heavy rain on an elevated section of the highway. One vehicle was on the concrete median wall of the bridge over a rail yard. The vehicle was precariously perched on the wall with both driver side wheels hanging over the wall. Louis immediately activated his emergency equipment and stopped behind the vehicle. The initial concern was the driver might attempt to exit the vehicle and plunge to his death.

Louis attempted to make contact with the driver, who was disoriented and unaware of his surroundings. Both doors on the right side of the vehicle had been compressed and wedged into the vehicle frame. The right front door would not budge. In the pouring rain, Louis coached the driver to carefully climb into the back of the vehicle; Louis then forced the right rear door open and pulled the driver from the vehicle. He then escorted the driver to the safety of his Patrol vehicle. Shortly after, the Kansas City Police and Fire departments arrived on the scene and Louis transferred the driver to their care before returning on his route to work.

Only yards away, another motorist who exited his vehicle fell over the median wall to his death.

While off duty in an unmarked vehicle, and before local responders could reach the scene, Louis sprang into action and quickly rescued a disoriented motorist who faced dual risks: falling from the bridge if he attempted to exit his vehicle or having the precariously positioned vehicle plunge from the bridge if struck by another vehicle.

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

December Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Veronica Banks
Registered Nurse Specialist/Supervisor
Missouri Veterans Commission

Veronica Banks, Night Shift Supervisor at Missouri Veterans Home – Warrensburg, is the December 2022 DPS Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month for the dedicated, compassionate care she provides veterans and staff at the Warrensburg Home.

Veronica joined MVC as a night shift supervisor at the height of the global pandemic and immediately excelled if caring for veterans and supporting the care staff as the home dealt with unprecedented challenges. The grace, poise and tact with which Veronica meets changing conditions have a calming effect and set an excellent example for other team members.

Veronica displays tremendous attention to detail and routinely comes in early and stays well into the morning to ensure continuity of care for veterans. She also takes on extra shifts whenever needed. Veronica is a problem solver who on a daily basis demonstrates what it means to put service above self.


Sworn Team Members of the Month

Sworn Team Members of the MonthSworn Team Members of the MonthSworn Team Members of the Month

Ryan Barnes, Stephen Murphy, and Jesse Sproat
Senior Commissioned Investigators
Missouri Division of Fire Safety

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.

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

July 2022 Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Christopher Cendroski
Maintenance Staff
Missouri Veterans Commission

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.


Sworn Team Member of the Month

October Sworn Team Member of the Month

Grant Wheeler
Senior Commissioned Investigator
Division of Fire Safety

Grant Wheel is the October DPS Sworn Team Member of the Month for his timely and thorough investigative work following a fatality involving an amusement ride in southwest Missouri.

As a Senior Commissioned Fire Investigator, Grant conducts fire and explosion investigations and assists the Elevator and Amusement Ride Safety Unit with investigations involving serious injuries. In July, following the death of a maintenance worker near an amusement ride in Branson, Grant responded the evening of the accident and immediately conducted a thorough, detailed scene investigation and interviewed witnesses while their recollections were still fresh in their minds.

The ride was later inspected by the Elevator and Amusement Ride Safety Unit and remains under investigation by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Grant’s excellent work was representative of the dedication and commitment he regularly demonstrates in all areas of his position – cordial and professional with partner agencies and members of the public, up to date on reports and investigations, and willing to assist fellow team members whenever needed. He is a true asset for the Division of Fire Safety, DPS and public safety in general.

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

October Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Aimee Packard
Public Relations Director
Missouri Veterans Commission

Aimee Packard, Public Relations Director at the Missouri Veterans Commission, is the October DPS Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month for her outstanding work developing and executing a campaign to raise awareness of veteran suicides.

In April 2022, MVC leadership tasked Aimee with creating a campaign for May Mental Health Awareness Month calling attention to the issue of suicides by veterans. Suicide rates for military veterans have are alarmingly high compared to the overall civilian population. Despite the very limited time she had, Aimee quickly researched the issue and created the “You Are Worth the Battle” campaign, complete with branding colors, logos, a sharable media kit that included materials for a full social media campaign, and printable fliers. She also coordinated the campaign with other Missouri state government public information officers to expand its reach. Other partners were the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, Missouri National Guard and the Office of the Military Advocate.

Aimee accomplished this special effort while still performing all her normal duties as MVC’s one-person PR operation. Because of her outstanding effort, MVC plans to continue and expand this campaign. Aimee’s professional effort and commitment also served as a catalyst for MVC leadership to expand its goals toward making a positive impact on this critical issue for veterans.


Sworn Team Member of the Month

September Sworn Team Member of the Month

Timmy D. Shoop
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant Timmy D. Shoop, Troop B, is the DPS Sworn Team Member of the Month for September 2022.

On June 27, 2022, an Amtrak train crashed into a truck and derailed in a rural area near Mendon, in Chariton County. Almost 300 passengers and crew were trapped inside the train cars, which were on their side, just south of the railroad tracks.

Timmy heard radio traffic and immediately responded to the scene and took action to safely evacuate and calm the passengers and crew, including those who were injured and traumatized and had mobility limitations. Timmy cleared a path through a railcar so a ladder could be inserted and passengers could climb out a window. He assisted passengers safely up the ladder and out the window until there was a single crew member left who was severely injured with his arm pinned under the railcar. Timmy, along with other responders, comforted the man until his arm could be freed. He then took charge of carefully moving the patient, who was secured to a spine board, out of the railcar.

Timmy then went from car to car to make sure everyone was out. In the coming days, Timmy, a Chariton County native, became a liaison between the Patrol, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Northwestern R-1 School District, which had served as a reception center for the walking wounded and other passengers. Timmy worked every day for a week on the crash investigation and then was in charge of escorting the oversized railcars out of the area on a highway. He later visited the injured Amtrak crewmember, with whom he had established a rapport, in the hospital.

*Named State Team Members of the Month for October 2022

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

September Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Melissa Friel
State Voluntary Agency Liaison
State Emergency Management Agency

Melissa Friel, of the State Emergency Management Agency, is the DPS September 2022 Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month for her outstanding work and leadership during two different disasters that occurred just one month apart.

On June 27, Melissa, in her role as Missouri’s State Voluntary Agency Liaison, was at a meeting in southwest Missouri with community organizations that are active in assistance efforts when disasters occur in the region. Melissa cut short her participation and rushed back to SEMA headquarters when she learned of the Amtrak train derailment that day in Chariton County, which killed four people and injured hundreds of passengers and crewmembers.

Melissa, who has years of experience working with Missouri faith-based and voluntary organizations that provide essential support during disasters, quickly identified gaps and the organizations that could best assist after hundreds of people from across the country were stranded in west central Missouri. She also deployed to a family assistance center that was established in Columbia.

Less than one month later, when SEMA was activated on July 26 in response to unprecedented flash flooding in the St. Louis region, Melissa quickly provided essential state assistance leadership by collaborating with voluntary and community organizations active in disasters, including the Red Cross. Initially, Multi-Agency Resource Centers were quickly organized for five days to bring recovery resources and assistance in the form of one-stop-shops to those affected by the flooding.

Because of the tremendous need for resources, three additional MARC dates were hurriedly organized in the coming days. MARC events were held for a total of eight days, serving an unprecedented 7,479 people representing 2,711 households. Melissa deployed to the region to coordinate these important assistance events and even canceled planned vacation to continue her work in the St. Louis region.

*Named State Team Members of the Month for October 2022


Sworn Team Member of the Month

August Sworn Team Member of the Month

Brian Folker
Missouri Capitol Police

Corporal Brian Folker of Missouri Capitol Police is the DPS August 2022 Sworn Team Member of the Month for the initiative and creativity he demonstrated finding a simple technical solution to a public safety concern in portions of the Capitol Complex.

During the summer of 2021, rental electric scooters began appearing around Jefferson City. MCP began receiving complaints from motorists about the traffic hazards they were posing and the potential for someone to get seriously hurt. They were also being left in random locations and leaving large skid marks that were labor intensive to remove from stone and concrete walkways.

Brian began discussions with the City of Jefferson and the Office of Administration’s Facilities Design, Management and Construction Division and confirmed this was a shared concern. Next, he contacted the local manager of the e-scooter company to explore options, including creating a “geofence” around select state properties that would create a “no-ride zone” by disabling the scooters as they approached the geofence boundaries. This did not affect the operation of personal scooters.

In October 2021, virtual geofences went into effect around the Capitol grounds, Carnahan Memorial Garden and the Harry S Truman State Office Building. As the weather began warming this spring and it was scooter season once again, the number of complaints to MCP about dangerous e-scooter traffic and property damage dropped greatly because of the geofencing of these key locations.

Brian’s initiative and follow up reduced numerous traffic hazards and a nagging form of property damage.

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

August Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Josh Maxwell
Data Scientist
Missouri Veterans Commission

Josh Maxwell, a Data Scientist with the Missouri Veterans Commission, is the DPS August 2022 Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month for his outstanding work analyzing data and putting his findings to work so MVC and other DPS agencies can operate more effectively.

MVC hired Josh in February 2021 because the agency was struggling to utilize the reams of data generated across the commission’s varied operations. The goal was to better monitor wide-ranging operations and make more informed decisions. Josh quickly learned about MVC’s diverse programs, consulted with the state data team and met with agency leadership to formulate specific areas to examine.

Josh soon developed a recruitment and retention dashboard – a key challenge facing MVC – which allows leadership to identify recruitment methods that are succeeding and areas that need improvement. Leadership then shares and review these insights and progress with teammates working in the field.

Josh is currently collaborating with the Missouri State Highway Patrol to use predictive modeling to identify the most effective techniques for recruiting trooper candidates. He has also made multiple presentations to other Missouri state government departments so they can take advantage of the expertise he has gained.


Sworn Team Members of the Month

Sworn Team Members of the MonthSworn Team Members of the MonthSworn Team Members of the Month

John Fisher, Marcus Holmes, and Anthony Bandy

Missouri Capitol Police

Sgt. John Fisher and Officers Marcus Holmes and Anthony Bandy are the DPS Sworn Team Members of the Month for July 2022.

On May 10, 2022, Missouri Capitol Police was conducting routine visitor screening at the State Capitol south entrance checkpoint when a man entered the building acting suspiciously. He told Officer Holmes he had a pistol in a large duffel bag he was carrying and that he had an appointment to show it to Gov. Mike Parson. Officer Holmes denied him entry to the building for failing to have proper credentials and notified Sgt. Fisher of the situation. Meanwhile, a state employee contacted Officer Bandy and said the man had attempted to enter the building from a different entrance and had also attempted to slip past her as a door was closing at a third Capitol entrance.

A short time later, the man returned to the Capitol without the duffel bag and was questioned by Sgt. Fisher and Officer Bandy. He asked suspicious questions and appeared unstable. The officers determined he was a convicted felon, possibly in possession of a firearm. The officers had the suspect lead them to his vehicle. There, they recovered an assault pistol, ammunition and a Bowie-style knife inside the duffel bag. The suspected was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Sgt. Fisher and Officers Holmes and Bandy take their job of keeping the Capitol safe and secure very seriously. On May 10, they were vigilant in carrying out their duties. Their actions not only prevented an unstable, armed man from entering the Capitol, they also ensured there would be no violent encounter outside the building.

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

July 2022 Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Dale Morrow
Veteran Service Officer
Missouri Veterans Commission

Dale Morrow, a Veteran Service Officer with the Missouri Veterans Commission, is the DPS July Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month for his hard work to ensure Missouri veterans receive the full VA benefits to which they are entitled.

Dale, who has been with the Missouri Veterans Commission for two years and works in the MVC Chillicothe office, recently assisted the widow of a Vietnam veteran receive more than $240,000 in a retroactive payment for accrued benefits that had previously been denied. In addition, the veteran’s widow will receive more than $1,400 month for the rest of her life in continuing benefits for her husband service in the war.

Dale worked tirelessly to correct a clear and unmistakable denial of service connection to the veteran’s cause of death being related to his Vietnam War service. His work resulted in a life-changing decision for the veteran’s widow.


Sworn Team Member of the Month

June Sworn Team Member of the Month

Joshua J. Schuenemeyer
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Joshua J. Schuenemeyer, Troop E, is the DPS Sworn Team Member of the Month for June 2022.

On March 17, 2022, Joshua responded to a traffic crash on Interstate 57 in Charleston, Missouri. The crash involved 40 vehicles, 10 of which caught fire. The crash included 26 commercial motor vehicles. He was the first to arrive on scene and quickly requested the interstate be shut down for safety reasons. According to one of the truck drivers, Joshua immediately began checking on drivers and passengers. The driver saw Joshua run toward vehicles on fire and one commercial motor vehicle in particular that was starting to catch fire from nearby burning vehicles. The driver of this tractor-trailer was trapped. Without hesitation or regard for his own safety, Joshua ran between two burning trucks to the driver's side door. As he approached, flames shot over his head. Joshua was able to free the driver's leg so the deputy could pull the man to safety. Troopers determined extremely dense fog was a major factor in the crash. Unfortunately, five people died and 18 were injured. Joshua's heroic actions proves his dedication to the citizens of this state. He went far above his normal call of duty and placed himself in harm's way to remove the driver from the burning truck.

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

June Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Troy Thurman
DPS Information Sharing Coordinator
Office of the Director

Troy Thurman is the DPS June 2022 Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month for his outstanding work to streamline the Missouri Data Exchange (MoDEx) process and improve the state’s data-sharing capabilities.

As DPS Information Sharing Coordinator, Troy oversees MoDEx, a powerful investigative tool that provides law enforcement agencies with the ability to search, link, analyze and share criminal justice information on a nationwide basis.

After a comprehensive review and analysis of the system, Troy identified areas of improvement within MoDEx and immediately began implementing changes to enhance the program to better serve the law enforcement community. One of these updates included migrating contracted services to infrastructure managed internally, a strategic step that drastically transformed the MoDEx Process. His exemplary work performance and coordination of resources, while in close collaboration with the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, resulted in a cost savings of about $1 million slated to support sustainment. These funds are now being used to advance criminal justice information sharing for law enforcement in ways that never would have been achieved prior to Troy’s hard work and dedication.

Troy also took the initiative to conduct the required research, outreach and acquisition of technology and resources to implement the sharing of Jail Management System (JMS) records and inmate call log data. Through his efforts, Missouri became the 12th state in the nation to share Jail Management Data and the first state to share inmate call log data at the national information sharing level.

Troy is a true team player and is always willing to go above and beyond his normal duties to advance data-sharing capabilities for law enforcement agencies nationwide.


Sworn Team Members of the Month

May 2022 Sworn Team Members of the MonthMay 2022 Sworn Team Member of the Month

Nolan A. Bax and Joseph Matherne
Corporal                          Agent
Missouri State Highway Patrol | Division of Alcohol & Tobacco Control

Missouri State Highway Patrol Corporal Nolan A. Bax and Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control Agent Joseph Matherne are the DPS Sworn Team Members of the Month for their outstanding investigative work following a quadruple fatal crash involving an intoxicated minor driving in the wrong direction.

On Jan. 3, 2022, a 19-year-old motorist driving southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 63, north of Columbia, crashed head-on into another vehicle, killing three people, including a 10-year-old, and sending three children to the hospital.

Nolan, of Troop F, expanded his crash investigation in an attempt to determine where the minor had purchased liquor. With seized video evidence, Nolan documented that the alcohol had allegedly been purchased by the 19-year-old the same day from a convenience store.

Beginning on Jan. 10, Joseph searched additional video from that same convenience store and obtained evidence purportedly showing multiple sales involving the deceased 19-year-old, along with evidence of other sales to minors where identification had not been checked.

Because of Nolan and Joseph’s dedicated teamwork on this complicated case, ATC was able to bring nine regulatory charges against the convenience store’s liquor license, and sought to have the license revoked. The allegations above are mere accusations and not evidence of guilt.

*Named State Team Members of the Month for June 2022

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

May 2022 Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Jeffrey Cook
Physical Plant Supervisor
Missouri Veterans Commission

Jeffrey Cook, a Physical Plant Supervisor at the Missouri Veterans Commission’s St. James Home, is the DPS May 2022 Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month for his outstanding work to ensure health and safety protections were maintained for veterans at the home during two water main breaks in St. James.

The water main breaks occurred in St. James on Oct. 8, 2021 and Nov. 1, 2021, affecting the Veterans Home. Each break resulted in the loss of the home’s main water supply, followed by boil orders and the loss of power. Jeff and his team quickly assessed each situation and coordinated safety efforts with the local fire departments and county emergency management teams. One of the breaks occurred after Jeffrey had already worked all day. He returned to the home and worked through the night to help create a plan and fix the issue without hesitation.

Because of his vast knowledge of the home and its safety systems, Jeffrey was able to maintain the fire suppression system and keep temperatures within the building comfortable, despite the loss of the HVAC system’s chiller tower, by strategically adjusting outside air usage based on weather conditions.

Jeffrey was also looking out for the entire community. During one of the water main breaks he directed some of the home’s maintenance team to assist St. James Municipal Utilities with the water restoration effort and provided some of his own tools to help in the effort.

Jeffrey has an outstanding work ethic and is sets and outstanding example of professionalism and dependability


Sworn Team Member of the Month

April Sworn Team Member of the Month

James A. Rowe
Missouri State Highway Patrol

James Rowe, a Missouri State Highway Patrol Corporal in Troop E, is the April 2022 DPS Sworn Team Member of the Month for his rapid response to a motorist who was being dragged by her own vehicle, likely saving the woman’s life.

On July 31, 2021, while he held the rank of Trooper, James was traveling in a business area of Sikeston when he noticed an SUV moving in a parking lot but with no one behind the wheel; a senior citizen appeared to be running alongside the vehicle. James, who was on duty as part of a special enforcement operation, diverted into the parking lot and almost immediately had to maneuver his patrol car so it would not be hit by the approaching SUV.

Exiting his vehicle, James saw that the woman had fallen and was now being dragged by her vehicle. James ran to the SUV and quickly reached in and applied the brake pedal, bring the vehicle to a halt. Once the vehicle was stopped, James could see that the driver’s seatbelt had become wrapped around the woman’s neck. Unable to free herself, she had been dragged about 30 feet when the vehicle hopped a curb.

If James had not been observant of his surroundings and reacted so quickly, the motorist could have been killed, particularly because she was about to be dragged out of the parking lot and into a busy street.

Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

April Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month

Harold King
Veteran Service Officer
Missouri Veterans Commission

Harold King, a Veteran Service Officer with the Missouri Veterans Commission, is the DPS April 2022 Non-Sworn Team Member of the Month for his tireless dedication to working to ensure Missouri veterans receive the full VA benefits to which they are entitled.

Harold, who has been with the Missouri Veterans Commission for seven years, recently helped an Air Force veteran finally receive more than $200,000 through a retroactive payment along with obtaining the full-monthly disability compensation he deserves for the rest of his life. In December 2015, the veteran began working with MVC after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs denied his disability application. Harold began working on the case in November of 2016. Through Harold’s expertise, research and relentless commitment to supporting veterans, the case was finally resolved in December 2021, when the VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals finally granted a service connection to the disability and the veteran was awarded $216,000. This, along with the full-monthly disability compensation going forward, was a life-changing decision in terms of quality of life for the veteran and his family.

Harold’s commitment to Missouri’s veterans is exceptional. It’s routine for him to eat lunch at his desk so he can devote more time to researching rules and regulations to assist in the long-term claims and appeals process. He’s a reliable resource and mentor to fellow Veteran Service Officers and an invaluable asset to the Missouri Veterans Commission who has assisted thousands of veterans over his career.


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 multitasker, 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.