Chillicothe native and CHS graduate named head of Missouri Highway Patrol.

On Tuesday, Lt. Col. Eric Olson, a Chillicothe native, was named the new superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol by Gov. Mike Parson.

Since Sept. 1, 2018, Olson has been acting superintendent of the patrol after the 23rd Superintendent of the Highway Patrol, Sandy Karsten, was appointed as the Director of the Department of Public Safety.

Olson grew up in Chillicothe and is a 1986 Chillicothe High School graduate. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology from William Jewell College and is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

On July 1, 1990, he joined the Missouri Highway Patrol as a member of the 63rd Recruit Class and since then has served as director of the Division of Drug and Crime Control and as commander of the Criminal Investigation Bureau at the patrol's general headquarters.

He has also served as Commanding Officer of Troop A, located out of Lee's Summit.

"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," Gov.Parson said.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is made up of nine Troops, with the general headquarters and Law Enforcement Academy being located in Jefferson City.

If confirmed by the Missouri Senate, he will be the 24th Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

According to a press release from Gov. Mike Parson, “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 patrol 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 and his wife, Ronda (Willis), also a Chillicothe native, have two sons, Lance and Garett. The family currently lives in the Macon area. Olson’s parents, Tom and Mary are also former Chillicothe residents.