Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP)
The Kansas Highway Patrol’s state troopers, capitol police officers, motor carrier inspectors and civilian workers are devoted to improving the quality of life for citizens and travelers in Kansas through spirited and dedicated service. The Kansas Highway Patrol’s motto to provide Service, Courtesy,& Protection has been the mission of the KHP for nearly 80 years now, and is something the agency continues to adhere to and take great pride in.
In 1933, the Kansas Legislature, Governor Alfred Landon, and Highway Department Attorney Wint Smith acted to halt the rampant bank robberies and crime sprees of the 1920s and 1930s. They created a force of 10 motor vehicle inspectors. These inspectors were the forerunners of the Kansas Highway Patrol.
The Legislature officially organized the Kansas Highway Patrol in 1937. A force of 45 troopers was hired to reduce crashes by enforcing traffic, vehicle, and licensing laws. From the distinctive navy and French-blue uniforms, navy blue campaign hats and Sam Browne, to the patrol cars driven, the Patrol’s positive presence has been affirmed throughout our history. At the KHP’s inception, all appointees had to pass a physical exam, be U.S. citizens, at least 24 years old, of good health and moral character and have no criminal record.
In the early days, troopers rode in pairs. In the 1950s, they began patrolling alone at an increasing rate, and by the 1960s, each trooper was assigned a patrol car to improve roadway coverage.
The agency gained access to the national NLETS and NCIC systems in the 1960s, improving communication across the state, and with our national partners.
In 1976, the Patrol incorporated the Capitol Area Security Police (who would later become known as Capitol Police) into the agency. In 1988, the agency absorbed the state’s motor carrier inspectors.
Since its inception more than 80 years ago, the Kansas Highway Patrol has changed drastically. Officers are now equipped with some of the best technologies offered to law enforcement personnel. The Patrol’s specialty units are on hand to assist other agencies across the state, with assignments such as motor carrier enforcement, aircraft services and police service dog calls.
The Kansas Highway Patrol Mobile Field Force was developed and equipped with specialized equipment in 2017, after 26 KHP troopers assisted with crowd control measures at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. The Mobile Field Force will respond to events of civil unrest across the state, natural disasters and other critical events. They will also be ready to assist on a national front.
We are all working toward a common goal of eliminating drug trafficking across our nation.
The Patrol’s history with interdiction is long withstanding, dating back to the days of combatting the bootleggers and bank robbers the agency was initially established for. Our modern interdiction efforts began in 1987, when the Criminal Interdiction Traffic Enforcement (CITE) program was implemented. The emphasis was geared toward identification and apprehension of active felons and all criminal activities.
The Patrol’s efforts in combatting illegal substances across our state have been aided by our trusted partners in the police service dog unit. The Patrol’s first police service dog, Murphy Brown, joined the Patrol in 1990. The police service dog unit has expanded to 18 canine/handler teams. Some of the police service dogs specialize in the detection of narcotics, while others specialize in the detection of explosives. Regardless of their odor detection abilities, all the Patrol’s K9 partners are certified in patrol work.
The Patrol’s interdiction program was greatly expanded in 2009, when the agency was awarded a $4.7 million Federal Recovery Act grant for the establishment of the Domestic Highway Enforcement Team (DHET) to combat crime and illegal substances on Kansas highways. This grant enabled us to create an interdiction team, which is now 24 members strong.
Whether a citizen of the state of Kansas, or an interstate traveler passing through, the men and women of the Kansas Highway Patrol have been there to see them home safely. The Patrol prides itself in the work we do every day on the highways and within our communities. We are proud to serve in the great state of Kansas, and hope you will enjoy the events, hospitality, and people of our state as you visit.