Head of Missouri State Highway Patrol to step down in May

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The head of the Missouri State Highway Patrol is stepping down.

Gov. Jay Nixon said Wednesday that Col. Ron Replogle plans to retire May 1 after serving five years as superintendent and 31 years with the patrol.

Nixon said his appointed replacement will be Maj. Bret Johnson, who is commander of the patrol’s field operations bureau.

The Highway Patrol has recently been at the center of some contentious situations. Most notably, Nixon directed the patrol to take the lead on security in Ferguson after the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown.

Lawmakers have criticized the Highway Patrol for buying a new airplane used by the governor, for its handling of a merger with the water patrol and for giving a federal investigator a list of Missourians with concealed gun permits.

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