Missouri Highway Patrol has named its first woman major.
Captain Sandra K. Karsten is being promoted to the rank of major and designated commander of the Administrative Services Bureau, General Headquarters, Jefferson City. Karsten is the first female officer to be promoted to the rank of major in the history of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Karsten's prmotion is effective August 1, 2011.
Karsten was appointed to the Patrol on September 1, 1985, as a member of the 57th Recruit Class. Upon graduating from the Patrol's Academy, she was assigned to Troop F, Zone 8, Callaway County. In 1992, she was promoted tocorporal and assigned assistant zone commander of Zone 8. Karsten was promoted to sergeant in 1994, and designated zone commander of Zone 4, Audrain County. Karsten transferred to the Field Operations Bureau inGeneral Headquarters on December 1, 1996 and was promoted to lieutenant on September 1, 1997 within the Field Operations Bureau. On September 1, 1999 Karsten was promoted to captain and remained assigned to GeneralHeadquarters in the Field Operations Bureau. On September 1, 2001 Karsten was named director of the Human Resources Division. At each of the ranks, lieutenant, captain, division director and now major, Karsten was and isthe first female officer to attain those ranks in the history of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
She graduated from Putnam County High School in Unionville, Missouri in 1981. In 1985, she earned a bachelor's of science degree in criminal justice from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, Missouri. In 2003 she earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of Missouri. Major Karsten and her husband, Tim, have two sons, John and Paul.