a division of the
Department of Public Safety
Public Information and Education Division - PO Box 568 - Jefferson City, MO 65102

For further information please contact: Capt. Dusty L. Hoffman
Q4292024-1 (573) 526-6115

April 29, 2024
EMPHASIS: Patrol Recognizes 29 Employees At Annual Awards Banquet

Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, congratulates the following employees who were recognized for their actions at the awards ceremony April 27, 2024. This year's award ceremony took place at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

"Our award winners are a reflection of the high caliber of individuals the Missouri State Highway Patrol employs,” said Col. Olson. “Every day, our employees go above and beyond to serve and protect Missourians. Congratulations to this year’s award recipients."

The Fred M. Mills MASTERS Public Service Award is presented to a member of the Patrol in recognition of their professional and personal service to the people of Missouri. This award is presented by the Missouri Association of State Troopers Emergency Relief Society.

Lieutenant Nathan C. Ahern, Troop A, began his career with the Missouri State Highway Patrol on January 1, 1993. He has also had a huge positive impact on the community in which he lives. While stationed in Sedalia, MO, he was active in the Lions Club of Sedalia, and for many years, Lt. Ahern has been a board member of the Boys and Girls Club. He is a board member of the Missouri State Fair Foundation. He is a member and elder of the LifePointe Church, Sedalia, MO. Lt. Ahern has utilized his knowledge and resources by volunteering his services and construction equipment to help the church and Habitat for Humanity. Lt. Ahern volunteered his services to assist the Baptist Ridge Camp in Warsaw, MO, prepare for their summer camps. This involved a lot of dirt work, cleanup, and laying sewer lines. Lt. Ahern has been involved in public service his entire career, both on and off duty. His volunteer work epitomizes the Patrol’s core values.

The Superintendent's Award for Excellence in Public Service recognizes a civilian employee who has been actively involved in public service whether performed on or off the job.

Communications Operator III Katherine H. McCormick is assigned to Troop A Communications and serves on the DEFENSE Peer Support Team. Since 2018, Ms. McCormick has combined her passions of being a seamstress and an avid Star Wars fan, resulting in her joining the “501st Legion.” This nonprofit group is an international costuming organization dedicated to celebrating Star Wars through fundraising, charity work, and community volunteering. Costumes made for the organization are rigorously graded and must be movie accurate before they can participate in events. Since she joined this group, she has spent countless hours tediously producing eight officially approved costumes and appearing at numerous charity events. Ms. McCormick’s compassion and resourcefulness have had a significant impact on her community and the region she represents. The work she puts into the production of character costumes she uses for the events, and her dedication to serving the community through her volunteer work, exemplifies the Patrol’s Core Values.

The Patrol’s Lifesaving Award is presented to an active or retired employee who is distinguished by saving the life of another person. Fifteen Lifesaving Awards were presented.

Trooper Easton R. Corcoran, Troop F

On April 2, 2023, Trooper Easton R. Corcoran responded to a medical emergency at Rose’s Lodging, in Boonville, Missouri. Upon arriving, he found a woman unconscious, unresponsive, and not breathing. He began cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Recognizing drug paraphernalia present in the room, Trooper Corcoran administered one dose of NARCAN™. The woman then exhibited shallow breathing and a weak pulse. Cooper County Ambulance personnel arrived, stabilized the woman, and transported her to the hospital.

Trooper Tyler C. Fuller, Troop B

On September 15, 2023, Trooper Tyler C. Fuller was traveling south on U.S. Highway 63 in Macon County, Missouri, when he observed an out-of-control box truck drive out of a cornfield. The vehicle drove across U.S. 63 and came to rest in the ditch. Trooper Fuller stopped and learned the driver had lost consciousness, did not have a pulse and was not breathing. He performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the driver regained consciousness. Trooper Fuller kept him calm until an ambulance arrived and treated him.

Trooper Devan J. Harms, Troop A

On December 10, 2023, Trooper Devan J. Harms responded to a report of a wrong-way driver on U.S. Highway 50 near Missouri Route FF, in Johnson County. Upon arrival, he encountered a five-vehicle traffic crash involving the wrong-way driver. Trooper Harms found a woman bleeding from serious leg injuries. He provided gauze and instructed a bystander on how to control the woman’s bleeding as he checked other victims. When he returned, Trooper Harms found the woman’s leg had continued to bleed extensively and he applied a tourniquet. Later, a paramedic stated Trooper Harms’ actions likely saved the woman’s life.

Trooper Patrick T. Harms, Gaming Division

On Monday, January 23, 2023, Trooper Patrick T. Harms responded to a medical call involving an employee at Horseshoe Casino in St. Louis, Missouri. The employee sustained a traumatic injury resulting in an arterial bleed from the back of his calf. Trooper Harms retrieved his tourniquet and applied it above the employee’s knee to reduce the blood loss. Ambulance personnel arrived and transported the employee to a nearby medical facility. The employee returned to work a few days later.
Trooper Harms, please remain on stage to accept a second Lifesaving award.

Trooper Patrick T. Harms, Gaming Division

On May 17, 2023, Trooper Patrick T. Harms responded after a contractor performing renovations at Horseshoe Casino in St. Louis, Missouri, lost consciousness. Trooper Harms performed chest compressions while a casino employee provided rescue breaths. Emergency medical services arrived, and Trooper Harms assisted them in providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation until the man regained a pulse. An ambulance arrived and transported the man to the hospital; he survived the incident.
(Trooper Harms has been promoted to corporal since this incident.)

Trooper Orrin D. Hawkins, Troop E

On March 4, 2023, Trooper Orrin D. Hawkins responded to a report of an active shooter in a downtown Cape Girardeau, Missouri, bar. Trooper Hawkins located two men with apparent gunshot wounds. One man had been shot in the leg, the other man was unresponsive and appeared to have been shot in the abdomen and thoracic region, with an exit wound in his chest. Trooper Hawkins located paper towels and applied them to the abdomen wound and used plastic wrap from the kitchen to cover the chest wound. Medical personnel arrived and transported the men to the hospital. Both survived the incident.

Trooper Jacob C. McKinney, Troop F

On March 29, 2023, Trooper Jacob C. McKinney overheard a call for a medical emergency and possible drug overdose. He arrived on scene and observed an unconscious male who had a pulse, but his breathing was shallow and irregular. The man’s parents informed Trooper McKinney their son had a history of heroin abuse. Trooper McKinney administered NARCAN™ but did not observe any improvement in the man’s breathing, so he administered rescue breaths. The man then regained consciousness. Emergency services arrived and transported the man to the hospital for further treatment. He survived the incident. (Trooper McKinney has been promoted to corporal since this incident.)

Trooper Eric R. Sikes, Troop C

On November 25, 2023, Trooper Eric R. Sikes was outside the North St. Louis County, Missouri, zone office when he heard gunfire. As he responded to the area, a vehicle passed him at a high rate of speed. Trooper Sikes initiated a traffic stop and found one of the passengers had sustained a bullet wound to his chest. He applied a chest seal to the shooting victim and checked him for additional wounds, all while gathering additional information from the vehicle’s occupants. Ambulance personnel arrived and transported the shooting victim to the hospital. In November 2023, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged all four of these people with one count of murder-second degree and two counts of armed criminal action.

Trooper Dylan H. Bert, Troop C
Corporal Blake G. Groves, Troop C

On March 29, 2023, Trooper Dylan H. Bert and Corporal Blake G. Groves were dispatched to the scene of a traffic crash on Interstate 70 west of Interstate 270. Numerous Lake St. Louis and St. Charles County police officers were working a crash when they were struck by a vehicle in a second crash. The troopers first encountered an officer with severe fractures in both legs and a serious head injury. They applied a tourniquet to his left leg, worked to control the heavy bleeding from his head, and stabilized the officer’s head and neck to prevent further injury. The officer was in a coma for 11 days. He continues to recover from his injuries. The other injured officers have since returned to work. The driver who caused the crash was placed under arrest for driving while intoxicated.

Corporal Kalen S. Linneman, Troop F

On November 24, 2023, Corporal Kalen S. Linneman responded to a call regarding an unresponsive man gasping for air. When he arrived, Corporal Linneman found the man had no pulse and had stopped breathing. Corporal Linneman began cardiopulmonary resuscitation until fire department personnel arrived. After an automated external defibrillator administered a shock to the man, Corporal Linneman resumed CPR. The ambulance arrived on the scene and the man was found to have a pulse. He was transported to the hospital and the man survived the incident.

Sergeant Todd M. Barthelmass, Gaming Division

On July 3, 2023, Sergeant Todd M. Barthelmass was traveling eastbound on Interstate 70 when he came upon a traffic crash involving a motorcycle. He found a man with a severe head injury laying on the roadway after being ejected from the motorcycle he was operating. Sergeant Barthelmass retrieved medical supplies from his patrol car to control the man's heavy blood loss from the head injury and provided a jaw-thrust to open his airway. Sergeant Barthelmass stabilized the motorcyclist and maintained his airway until paramedics arrived and took over his treatment. The man survived the incident.

Sergeant Todd M. Barthelmass, Gaming Division

On July 22, 2023, a patron was found unresponsive near turnstiles on the gaming floor of the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles, Missouri. A security officer responded and requested emergency medical services respond to his location to treat a suspected overdose. Sergeant Todd M. Barthelmass responded, administered NARCAN™ to the unconscious patron and provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Paramedics arrived and transported the patron to the hospital. The man survived the incident.

Sergeant Samuel V. Buchheit, Gaming Division

On September 2, 2023, Sergeant Samuel V. Buchheit was on duty at River City Casino, in St. Louis, Missouri, when he overheard radio traffic that a patron had collapsed and was unresponsive. Sergeant Buchheit responded with an automated external defibrillator. After the AED administered a shock, Sergeant Buchheit and a security officer administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation. After several rounds of CPR, paramedics arrived and assumed care, transporting him to a local hospital. The man survived the incident.

Sergeant James R. Campbell, Troop C

On May 21, 2023, Sergeant James R. Campbell, was on a family vacation in South Carolina when his daughter notified him her boyfriend was having a medical emergency. Sergeant Campbell instructed his daughter to call 911. Moments later, the man stopped breathing, and Sergeant Campbell initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He continued chest compressions until paramedics arrived and assumed care, transporting him to the hospital. The man survived the incident.

The Meritorious Service Award is presented to employees for exemplary service who performed beyond the call of duty in unusual circumstances. Nine troopers accepted Meritorious Service awards.

Trooper Christopher R. Kottwitz, Troop H

On July 19, 2023, Trooper Christopher R. Kottwitz was on duty when a vehicle matching the description of one wanted by the St. Joseph Police Department in connection with a shooting passed his location on U.S. Highway 36. During the pursuit that followed, the driver and passenger of the pursued vehicle started shooting at Trooper Kottwitz. Throughout this incident, he remained calm and relayed information to Troop H Communications. When Platte County deputies blocked the roadway, the suspects stopped their vehicle. Trooper Kottwitz then placed the driver and passenger under arrest. Others later commented that his demeanor helped them remain calm throughout the incident.

Trooper W. Sean Lashmet, Troop D

On February 23, 2023, Trooper W. Sean Lashmet answered a call for service regarding a suicidal person at the Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area. As he approached the vehicle, the suicidal female sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. Trooper Lashmet secured the firearm and provided medical assistance. He contacted Mercy Hospital and spoke with a trauma doctor and rendered additional assistance. Trooper Lashmet then made the decision to transport the victim in his patrol vehicle 26 miles to the hospital due to the unknown response time of emergency medical personnel. The subject survived emergency surgery but later succumbed to her injuries.
(Trooper Lashmet has since been promoted to corporal.)

Trooper Austin L. Royster, Troop D

On June 3, 2023, Trooper Austin L. Royster responded to a traffic crash in Lawrence County where a vehicle had collided with several motorcycles. Trooper Royster assessed the injured people lying on the roadway. Trooper Royster applied a tourniquet to a man with open fractures to his arm and heavy bleeding. Trooper Royster then assessed a female lying nearby with an open fracture on her left leg bleeding heavily and applied a tourniquet. Additional emergency personnel arrived and began to assist the other victims. While Trooper Royster provided care to the vehicle’s driver, he determined she was under the influence of a controlled substance and placed her under arrest.

Trooper Jacob S. Schwartz, Troop D

On August 22, 2023, a vehicle passed Trooper Jacob S. Schwartz in an aggressive manner while he was on duty in Taney County, and he attempted to initiate a traffic stop. This became a pursuit, ending in a serious rollover crash with the vehicle catching fire. Trooper Schwartz hurried to the vehicle and called out verbal commands, but the driver was unresponsive. He then sprinted to his vehicle and retrieved a fire extinguisher. Trooper Schwartz returned to the vehicle and fought the blaze until the fire extinguisher emptied. At this point, the driver was responding to Trooper Schwartz’s commands, and he helped the suspect exit his vehicle. The suspect received medical assistance and was taken into custody.

Trooper Andrew M. Gordon, Troop F
Corporal Daniel J. Dalton, Troop F
Sergeant David L. Fouch, Troop F

On December 15, 2023, Trooper Andrew M. Gordon, Corporal Daniel J. Dalton, and Sergeant David L. Fouch assisted Audrain County with an investigation of a known felon with multiple warrants. The Audrain County deputies approached the suspect at a convenience store in Laddonia, Missouri, and the suspect fled. Sergeant Fouch joined the pursuit, which took place on country roads near Mexico, Missouri. As the pursuit neared Trooper Gordon’s location, the suspects began shooting at him while he was repositioning his tire deflation device. The suspects struck the tire deflation device and continued on failing tires. The suspects then drove the wrong direction on the roadway increasing the risk to the public. Corporal Dalton was in position to intercept the pursuit and met the suspect head-on. The suspect attempted to ram Corporal Dalton’s patrol car, but he avoided the collision. Sergeant Fouch requested Corporal Dalton end the pursuit. Thus, Corporal Dalton, while traveling approximately 20 mph, struck the left rear of the suspect’s vehicle causing the suspect to lose control, spin counterclockwise, and come to a stop, which ended the pursuit. Recognizing the suspect now had a tactical advantage on Corporal Dalton, Trooper Gordon rammed the front left side of the suspect vehicle to draw the suspect’s attention to himself. Trooper Gordon then saw the driver was unconscious and broke out the driver’s side window to remove the suspect from the vehicle. Upon removal, it was evident the suspect had suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Troopers began lifesaving measures, but the suspect did not survive.

Corporal Johnathan R. Roberts, Troop G
Sergeant Adam R. Johnson, Troop G

On May 14, 2023, Corporal Johnathan R. Roberts and Sergeant Adam R. Johnson were dispatched to the North Fork River near Hales Crossing in Douglas County. When they arrived, they observed the river to be three to four times its normal size as heavy rain caused extensive flash flooding. Corporal Roberts and Sergeant Johnson launched their inflatable boat and proceeded down river and located a female hanging onto a tree partially submerged. Sergeant Johnson maneuvered the boat while Corporal Roberts pulled the victim into the boat and secured her in a life jacket. After leaving the female with emergency medical personnel, they returned to the area and found a male on top of a log in the middle of the river. Large trees and heavy debris prevented them from reaching him easily. Thus, they traveled down river to find an opening that would allow them to gain access. Corporal Roberts maneuvered the boat through the trees while Sergeant Johnson pushed the boat around some trees and tied it off to other trees as they made their way through the narrow passageways. The officers reached his location and assisted him into the boat, then transported him to medical personnel for treatment.

Every year, a civilian of the year is chosen. The 2023 Matilda "Tillie" Sonnen Civilian Of The Year is Technical Support Manager Lindsey J. Holtmeyer, Q/CJIS.

Technical Support Manager Lindsey J. Holtmeyer, Criminal Justice Information Services Division

Technical Support Manager Lindsey J. Holtmeyer oversees the Technical Support Unit, which is responsible for a significant portion of the Patrol’s IT infrastructure. It operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week. This unit is responsible for the installation and support of over 700 Patrol applications. One of her responsibilities is ordering, replacing, and rotating all Patrol IT equipment for the Patrol’s approximately 2,500 employees. When the Missouri State Highway Patrol began the process of researching and testing body worn cameras, Ms. Holtmeyer became the subject matter expert for the technical side of this process. In 2023, the Mobile Device Unit was moved from the Communications Division placing additional responsibilities under Ms. Holtmeyer’s purview. This unit supports approximately 800 mobile devices. In the past year, Ms. Holtmeyer has worked hard to create a supportive working environment for employees. She listens to and implements suggestions from staff regarding ways to improve their work balance.

Every year, an officer of the year is chosen. The 2023 Benjamin Oliver Booth Officer Of The Year is Sergeant Timothy A. Barrett, Troop D.

Sergeant Timothy A. Barrett, Troop D

Sergeant Timothy A. Barrett has made hundreds of felony and misdemeanor drug arrests. He works closely with other zones, counties, cities, local task forces, the Division of Drug and Crime Control, and federal agencies. Sergeant Barrett has earned the respect of local and federal judicial entities due to his professional courtroom testimony and trial preparation. In 2023, Sergeant Barrett’s dedication to criminal patrol work resulted in seven noteworthy criminal interdiction stops. One such stop occurred on January 22, 2023, as Sergeant Barrett stopped a commercial motor vehicle hauling passenger vehicles. During the stop, Sergeant Barrett discovered nearly 45 pounds of cocaine hidden within a false-floor compartment in the cargo area of one of the vehicles. The DEA adopted the case, which led to the arrests of two men in Illinois and one man in Michigan. One of these men was a high-ranking drug cartel associate. The other interdiction stops revealed a nationwide mail theft ring. Sergeant Barrett is also involved in his community, coaching children’s sports, and leading mission trips to Africa through his church.

The Valor Award is presented to an employee who performs an extraordinary act of heroism in a situation involving considerable danger to the employee and the possibility of injury or death to citizens or other officers. Three troopers accepted Valor awards.

Trooper James R. Sauer, Gaming Division

On February 8, 2023, Trooper James R. Sauer was on duty at River City Casino in St. Louis, Missouri, when he was notified about an armed subject in the hotel’s fitness center. The subject’s mother was in the hotel and had advised employees the man was suicidal. When Trooper Sauer approached the fitness center, he observed the suspect in the doorway, the gun was not in the suspect’s hands, and the suspect’s mother was nearby. When Trooper Sauer asked where the gun was, the suspect’s mother lunged for it and took control of the firearm, which had been sitting on top of a nearby trash can. At this time, the suspect grabbed his mother and attempted to seize control of the firearm. Trooper Sauer then took control of the suspect’s head and directed him toward the ground. The man ceased trying to get control of the firearm and was taken into custody. Trooper Sauer then retrieved the firearm from a nearby towel rack where the suspect’s mother had placed it.

Trooper Richard J. Waite, Troop C

On September 24, 2023, Trooper Richard J. Waite was on patrol in Lincoln County when Troop C Communications advised him of a wrong way driver traveling southbound on northbound U.S Highway 61. Trooper Waite responded and south of Missouri Route B he observed headlights rapidly approaching. He began slowing as the vehicle approached. The driver of the vehicle traveling the wrong way steered right and traveled partially onto the left shoulder. Trooper Waite then steered his patrol car into the driver’s side of the suspect vehicle in an attempt to stop it. The vehicle spun counterclockwise and came to a stop in one lane of northbound U.S. 61. Trooper Waite’s patrol vehicle came to rest in the median. He immediately exited his patrol car to check the well-being of the subject. The subject was determined to be intoxicated and placed under arrest.

Sergeant Lance D. DeClue, Troop I

On July 28, 2023, Sergeant Lance D. DeClue was preparing to begin his shift when he overheard radio traffic from Crawford County regarding a pursuit. The suspect was traveling in a stolen vehicle and firing a handgun toward the deputy pursuing him. Sergeant DeClue reported for duty and followed the pursuit into Washington County and then into Iron County. Sergeant DeClue followed the suspect onto Doe Run Mine Haul Road. When the suspect reached a dead end, he turned the vehicle around and came toward Sergeant DeClue’s patrol vehicle on the one-lane road. Sergeant DeClue determined the suspect would put others in danger of death or serious bodily harm if he did not stop him. Sergeant DeClue then intentionally rammed the suspect's vehicle and disabled it. He exited his patrol vehicle and ordered the suspect to show his hands. After the suspect complied, he was taken into custody.