Juden earns job as Mo. public safety director

Drew Juden calls Sikeston, Missouri, home, but the city's longtime Public Safety director has roots in Cape Girardeau. He grew up in Cape Girardeau and graduated from Cape Girardeau Central High School. We are proud that one of our own is branching out even farther now, expanding his law enforcement expertise to serve as Public Safety Director for the state of Missouris.

Juden is well-respected among his colleagues, subordinates and even the lay community, some of whom took to social media to praise his promotion. And make no mistake about it: This is definitely a promotion. While his experience has set the stage for this step up, the step is a huge one.

His career with the Sikeston Department of Public Safety, which began in 1978, has come to an end, a new era commencing today, as he begins working with Governor-elect Eric Greitens' transition team.

His tenure as director started in 2001, and during these years, he has tackled professional sporting events, presidential and vice presidential debates and natural disasters, to name a few.

Juden served on various committees and received accolades for his job performance. Under his leadership, various tactics were implemented for the safety of officers and citizens. From crisis intervention and a street crimes task force to bomb squads, body cameras and Tasers, Juden has been instrumental in keeping law and order. However, he chalks it all up to merely doing his job. "It's what I get paid to do," he said, adding, "I do it to the best of my abilities and always give 110 percent."

He now moves to Jefferson City, where his effort is needed. Under his guidance will be 6,000 employees and a $900 million annual budget in a department that "coordinates statewide law enforcement, criminal justice and public safety throughout the state" and encompasses nine separate agencies.

We wish Juden the best as he takes on this critical role in our state.