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History


Missouri Highway Patrol sticker

Created in 1931, the authorized strength of the Patrol was established at 125 uniformed officers; however, due to limited appropriations, only 55 patrolmen were trained for active duty. The Patrol has evolved from primarily enforcing traffic laws to a full-service, accredited law enforcement agency. In 1992, the Missouri State Highway Patrol became only the 10th state police/highway patrol to receive accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

In 2010, a legislation was passed to merge the Missouri State Water Patrol as the Highway Patrol’s 20th division, to be known as the Water Patrol Division. Some of the other divisions include Gaming Division, Drug and Crime Control Division, Crime Lab Division, and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division. The Water Patrol began in 1959 as the Missouri Boat Commission and in 1961 consisted of eight officers. The Missouri State Highway Patrol has grown from 55 officers in 1931 to a force of over 1,180 uniformed members, and 1,144 uniformed civilian and support personnel. Even though the complexity of its duties has expanded tremendously over the years, the primary mission of the Patrol has not changed. Enforcing traffic laws and promoting safety on our state’s highways and waterways is still the primary mission of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.