Olson named MSHP superintendent

Governor Parson announced Lieutenant Colonel Eric T. Olson as the 24th superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP).

“A key mission of government is keeping the public safe and Missouri’s State Highway Patrol is one of the nation’s finest law enforcement agencies,” Governor Parson said. “Lieutenant Colonel Olson has demonstrated the professionalism and integrity the Missouri State Highway Patrol is known for throughout his career. I have great confidence his experience and qualifications make him the right selection to lead the agency into the future.”

Olson has been serving as the acting superintendent since September 1 when the former superintendent, Sandy Karsten, was appointed as the director of the department of public safety. 

Olson’s nearly 3-decade career with the MSHP has included time serving as the commanding officer of MSHP Troop A followed by overseeing the patrol’s division of drug and crime control.

Eric Olson, center, was named the new MHSP superintendent.

Eric Olson, center, was named the new MHSP superintendent.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is Missouri’s largest law enforcement agency, directly affecting the safety of all 6 million Missourians. The MSHP is the state’s rapid response team for disasters in the state, such as last fall’s duck boat tragedy at Table Rock Lake or this winter’s recent snow storms. The MSHP covers a wide array of other fields including driver license testing, crime lab analysis, boating safety, commercial vehicle enforcement, and the state’s criminal records maintenance.

Olson graduated from Chillicothe High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from William Jewell College. He was appointed to the Patrol on July 1, 1990, as a member of the Patrol’s 63rd Recruit Class. Olson is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy. 

He and his wife, Ronda, have two sons, Lance and Garett. 

Olson will continue to serve as Acting Superintendent as he awaits confirmation by the Missouri Senate.