The Hannibal-LaGrange University Criminal Justice department hosted Missouri Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Drew Juden as keynote speaker at an informational session for criminal justice students on April 20.

The Hannibal-LaGrange University Criminal Justice department hosted Missouri Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Drew Juden as keynote speaker at an informational session for criminal justice students on April 20.

Juden was named director of the DPS by Gov. Eric Greitens on Jan. 2.

While on campus, Juden spoke on his role as director of the MO DPS and changes and advances in the field of public safety to roughly 40 attendees comprised of law enforcement officers and HLGU students and personnel.

Speaking in regards to social media, Juden said, “We as a society have turned into an insatiable desire for immediate news…and that’s a challenge as law enforcement that we are wrestling with every day because we are bound by certain statutes.

So one of the things that we as law enforcement are very poor at is marketing ourselves,” he continued. “Our pledge to move forward with is that we are going to market all of our organizations within DPS. We are going to do a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. We are going to be out there. In previous administrations it was forbidden, but we are going to tell our story because we do a lot of good things and most people don’t know about it because we don’t want to pat ourselves on the back, but they need to know about it because it’s fair that you know both sides of the story.”

Juden also spoke on the benefits of police officers being equipped with Tasers, and in more recent years, with body cameras.

He challenged students to “do a self-check in the mirror” saying, “If you want to be a police officer today, you better have high moral standards and be very ethical because if it’s not caught on a video camera that you’re wearing, it will be caught on video that someone else is running, because I promise you that everything we do today as law enforcement is under a microscope. You have to be truthful, you have to be honest.”

Before closing with a question-and-answer session, Juden reminded those in attendance that though a public safety department may have many missions, “we only have one goal, and that goal is to protect and to serve the citizens of the state.”

Prior his appointment as Missouri DPS director, Juden was director of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety, where he served since 1978 and was one of the department’s first three public safety officers.

Prior to holding the position of director in Sikeston, Juden developed many courses in fire science and criminal justice; he is both a state and national level certified instructor. He was Sikeston’s first training officer. He also served as a squad sergeant and a shift commander in the police division. He has held the positions of fire and police division commander.

Under Juden’s leadership in 2011, the Sikeston Department of Public Safety was chosen as the pilot agency as the state of Missouri began to build its statewide interoperable communications system, known as MOSWIN. In that role, he worked closely with the Missouri Department of Public Safety to develop policies and implement the system that enables real-time, seamless, agency-to-agency and discipline-to-discipline interoperable communications.

Director Juden is a member of the State of Missouri Homeland Security Advisory Council. Previously, he served as a member of the board of directors of the SEMO Major Case Squad, SEMO Drug Task Force, and is the founding member of SEMO Bomb Team. He served as president of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association in 2015.

In 2008, Juden received the Missouri Police Chiefs Association’s Donald "Red" Loehr Outstanding Police Chief Award. He has received many awards locally, including Outstanding Young Law Enforcement Officer, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, and Citizen of the Year.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety comprises eight different agencies (including two commissions) and six separate programs all committed to ensuring the safety of the citizens of Missouri. Additionally, the office of the director administers the Homeland Security Program and state and federal funds in grants for juvenile justice, victims’ assistance, law enforcement, and narcotics control.

Other programs in the director’s office provide support services and resources to assist local law enforcement agencies and to provide training criteria and licensing for law enforcement officers.