New highway patrol colonel urges women to break out of comfort zone

3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 3:12:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
By: Carolina Brigagao, KOMU 8 Reporter

FULTON –The first woman colonel in the Missouri State Highway Patrol said she hopes to make the law enforcement agency "more progressive."

Col. Sandra Karsten spoke about female empowerment at Westminster College Wednesday in celebration of national Women’s History Month.

Karsten said women can do powerful things in male dominated careers. She encouraged female college students to get out of their comfort zone.

“You are stepping into a unique role and that you need to maintain a sense of humor, a firm commitment to what you’re going to do, and a passion to make a difference for those that come behind you,” she said.

Several students and MSHP interns attended Karsten's speech.

“It is just such a huge inspiration to have a female leader in a so male dominated, but yet she is still here and encouraging females to do really kick butt stuff everyday,” said intern Kelli Albrecht, who is a senior at Westminster College.

Karsten started her career in law enforcement at the age of 21, and she celebrated her 31th anniversary in the highway patrol last September.

“With the department, I hope we can move forward we can be more progressive in our approach to certain things,” she said. “For the public, I hope we continue to build upon the strong service that we’ve provided to the citizens.”

As a colonel, Karsten is in command of the entire organization, which includes 2,400 employs and 1,221 officers.

Gov. Eric Greitens appointed Karsten in February, and she took office on March 14th.

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