Answering the Call: Patrol sergeant started out as parole officer

Monday, September 27, 2010
Sgt. Blane Adams has been with the Missouri State Highway Patrol for 23 years. (Kristin Eberts)

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Blane Adams began his career working as probation and parole officer for the state. His interest in law enforcement was piqued there, and 23 years ago he joined the Missouri State Highway Patrol as a trooper. Helping the public, Adams said, was his goal. Now, as a sergeant, he supervises four troopers and two corporals.

Question: Was it your courses at Southeast or your time as a parole officer that got you interested in law enforcement?

Answer: It was while I was working for probation and parole, actually. Whenever Jim Froemsdorf got killed in March of 1985 I just thought that it wasn't one of those things where I was going to change the world, but I always respected the highway patrol and I thought it was a job where we can do something to help people. I knew it was a job that I would go to work and I would never, ever dread going to work. I've been here 23 years, and I can honestly say that I've never not wanted to go to work.

Q: Where were you assigned when you started?

A: I was originally assigned to what was called the Portageville zone. They always refer to where the zone office is, but I lived in Caruthersville. You're with a field training officer for about four months and then you're on your own. I transferred [to Jackson] in May of 1990.

Q: Do you remember your first call or your first day on your own, without a training officer?

A: I remember my first car I stopped by myself. A lady, I think she had no plates and had no insurance.

Q: When were you promoted and what's your role now that you're a sergeant?

A: I was promoted to corporal in 1997, and I was promoted to sergeant in July of 2002. Fortunately, when I was moved up I didn't have to move. I've always liked Jackson. I still like Jackson.

I spent more time in the office, and I'm doing more supervisory stuff. Whenever something is sent out to be done in the zone it's sent to the sergeant. As a sergeant you try to teach your corporals stuff so they know what being a sergeant entails. But when you've got a good zone, it makes your job easy. I have a great zone, and we don't have much turnover in this area.

Q: What makes you a good sergeant and why do you enjoy this zone so much?

A: I think the guys in my zone ... I treat them like adults. I give them a lot of freedom, and I think I stand up for my guys. If they're right, I'm going to stand up for them. We're real flexible with our schedule, too. We always work with each other and take care of everybody.

Q: What are some of the most common misconceptions about highway patrol troopers?

A: A lot of the public really doesn't have any idea what we do. They'll see us in town or out on county road or on the interstate and think all we're doing is writing tickets. They think we're all about numbers. The only time I write a ticket to anyone is when I absolutely need to. I've given many more warnings. Most of the people we deal with are really good people and the majority of the public supports what we do.

Q: Have you set any goals for yourself for the future, for retirement?

A: I'll retire within a few years. I want to be in good health and enjoy retirement, but I'll probably work a few days past my eligible date. I can't even describe how fortunate I am to have this job.

ehevern@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent Address:

216 N. Missouri St., Jackson, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

Comments
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: