The superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol says he’ll retire Feb. 1 after three decades with the organization.
Col. Bret Johnson made the announcement Tuesday. He was nominated to the role in February 2016, and took office in May of that year. He was the Patrol’s 22nd superintendent.
“It has been an honor to serve the people of Missouri for the past 30 years,” said Colonel Johnson in a news release. “My thoughts are with the friends and family of the 31 Patrol members who made the Ultimate Sacrifice, 18 of whom died while I served. These brave, honorable men did not get to reach their retirement.”
Johnson will step down just weeks after Gov. Jay Nixon’s predecessor, Gov. –elect Eric Greitens takes office. The incoming Republican governor will be responsible for appointing Johnson’s replacement.
In a statement, Nixon praised Johnson’s work as the lead state law enforcement officer on the ground following the Joplin tornado.
“The state of Missouri and the Missouri State Highway Patrol are better because of his distinguished 30 years of service. I am grateful to Bret for his service to the state and for his tireless work to protect the safety of the people of Missouri,” said Nixon.
During Johnson's time as superintendent, he created a recruitment division aimed at encouraging youths to join the patrol, as well as focused on community engagement, according to a news release.