Thursday, March 19, 2015
Nixon appoints Lane Roberts head of Department of Public Safety
Gov. Jay Nixon today named former Joplin Police Chief Lane Roberts as the new director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety. Roberts, a 42-year veteran of law enforcement, served as Joplin Police Chief from April 2007 until his retirement last year.
“A 42-year veteran of law enforcement, Lane Roberts is a dedicated public servant who is uniquely qualified to lead the Missouri Department of Public Safety,” said Gov. Nixon. “From serving our country in Vietnam to demonstrating courageous leadership in the aftermath of the deadliest tornado in Missouri history, Lane Roberts’ long and distinguished career exemplifies the true meaning of public service.”
Roberts was instrumental in the coordinated local, state, and federal effort to respond to the EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin on May 22, 2011.
“Both in the immediate aftermath of the tornado and during the rebuilding process that followed, the people of Joplin saw Chief Roberts’ compassionate and courageous leadership in action,” the Governor continued. “Lane’s extraordinary skills, experience and leadership abilities will make him an invaluable asset to the Department of Public Safety and all Missourians.”
During his tenure as chief, the Joplin Police Department became accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and total crime decreased by 27 percent. In 2013, Roberts was selected as Chief of the Year by the Missouri Police Chiefs Association.
“After more than 40 years in law enforcement, I am deeply honored to serve as Director of Public Safety,” said Lane Roberts. “Having worked closely with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the State Emergency Management Agency during my tenure as Joplin Police Chief, I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the men and women who have dedicated their careers to serving the department. I thank Gov. Nixon for the privilege to serve in this capacity and for all that he continues to do to make our communities safer and stronger.”
Roberts served in the U.S. Air Force from 1966 to 1970, serving tours in the Philippines and Vietnam. He began his career in law enforcement in Okanogan County, Washington and went on to become Chief of Police in Twisp, Washington, Union Gap, Washington, and Redmond, Oregon. From 2004-2005 he served as president of the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police.
In 2011, the Governor appointed him to the Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission. Since his retirement from JPD last year, Roberts has been a Criminal Justice Instructor at Crowder College in Neosho.
Roberts has an associate’s degree in law enforcement from Wenatchee Valley College in Washington, a Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University in Virginia and received a Master’s in Business Administration from William Woods University in Fulton. He and his wife have three daughters and seven grandchildren.
Chief Roberts’ appointment is subject to confirmation by the Missouri Senate.