I recently retired as a lieutenant, from the Missouri State Highway Patrol after 33 years of service. I was raised in the Pettis County area. I had the good fortune to be the detail commander of the Patrol’s State Fair detachment for several years, during which I had the opportunity to become acquainted with and develop a professional relationship with Chief John DeGonia ,of the Sedalia Police Department. DeGonia and I did not always see eye to eye with every decision but I admired the fact that he would honestly voice his opinion.
Subsequent to our relationship at the fair, DeGonia asked if I would be willing to sit on promotional boards at the Sedalia Police Department on multiple occasions. I was humbled by DeGonia’s requests and agreed to oblige. On each occasion mutliple candidates interviewed for promotions within the department. Besides being impressed with the quality of those interviewed I was especially impressed with DeGonia’s visible imparitality in the process. Not once did he attempt to influence the board or suggest one candidate over another. Each time the board recommedation was the person who was selected.
I was never present on a daily basis to view the department’s operation, but as an outsider with some unique insight into the department, I believe the citizens of Sedalia are lucky to have an individual with the integrity of DeGonia leading their police department. That is not the case everywhere.
Jim Ripley, Lieutenant, Retired