Skip to Content

Former troop commander speaks about changes in policing over years

A former high-ranking member of the highway patrol says policing has to change to prevent more scenes like Ferguson.

Charles Jackson lives in Jefferson City and commanded the Missouri Highway Patrol Troop F at one time, before serving as the state’s director of public safety.

Jackson began his career as a trooper on the roads in Boone County during the 70s.

In the 80s he worked at Troop F’s general headquarters, later becoming the commander of Troop F.

Then from 2001- 2005 Jackson was the director of public safety.

He told ABC 17 News over the past 20 years the mindset of law enforcement has changed from service and protection to enforcement and control.

“When I came on, service was so important. You had a working relationship with the citizens you serve in Boone County. I still see people I made friends with,” said Jackson.

However, that service Jackson said started changing in the 90’s.

Jackson said he thinks what pushed the change was what people were watching on TV – more violence with police officers.

“What you watch becomes a part of you,” said Jackson.

Jackson said the reason people are not trusting officers as much is because of the television and media, plus the lack of interaction the officers are having with those in their community.

Jackson said even a small thing like taking sunglasses off when talking with citizens has changed.

That used to be a rule they had, now almost all police officers wear their sunglasses and are hidden behind tinted windows.

“It’s a more callous, less friendly atmosphere. And so again they have to get out and interact with the public, and let them know they are there to serve them, that they are here to protect them,” said Jackson.

ABC 17 News asked Jackson since the number of officers dying on the job is a reason more officers are using force?

“Some people are afraid. I noticed it at the end of my tenure at highway patrol- the type of training we were doing, it’s like everyone is a suspect,” said Jackson.

ABC 17 News also asked Jackson what he would like to say to law enforcement in Ferguson right now.

“To interact with the people as much as they can. To let them know that you are there to work with them not against them,” Jackson said. “They have a job to do, too, and people need to understand that. If they are not pleased with the job then they need to take the proper avenues to change that like through the ballot system.”

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

ABC 17 News Team


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content