Gov. Eric Greitens on Wednesday named Lt. Col. Sandy Karsten as the new chief of the Missouri Highway Patrol, the first woman to hold the position in the patrol’s 81-year history. As lieutenant colonel, Karsten has served as the second-ranking patrol officer under Nixon appointee Col. Bret Johnson, who has retired. She began her career as a trooper, and is now tasked with overseeing more than 1,000 uniformed officers. Making the announcement after speaking to new recruits, Greitens highlighted both Karsten's experience and volunteer work in the community, saying Karsten has “led at every level with courage and commitment.” He also reiterated his support for law enforcement – a priority he’s highlighted since becoming chief executive on Jan. 9, pushing for an alert system to help locate those who’ve harmed officers and tough criminal penalties for harming officers. "I am always going to stand with our law enforcement officers on the front lines," Greitens said.