Lieutenant ButtramLieutenant HowardCaptain Scism

Highway Patrol announces promotion, retirements

The Missouri State Highway Patrol announced the promotions of Sgt. Gara Howard and the retirement of Lt. Rick Buttram and Captain Rex Scism.

Sergeant Gara N. Howard, Q/DDCC, is being promoted to lieutenant and will transfer to the Research & Development Division, General Headquarters, where she will serve as an assistant director of the division.

Howard joined the Patrol as a member of the 75th Recruit Class on February 1, 1998. Upon graduating from the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy, she was assigned to Troop H, Zone 8, Clinton/Caldwell counties. While assigned to Troop H, Howard also served in Andrew/Buchanan counties. She transferred to the Gaming Division, General Headquarters, Jefferson City, in March 2004, and was assigned to the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City, MO. Howard returned to Troop H in September 2010. She was promoted to corporal and designated assistant zone supervisor of Zone 5, Andrew/Buchanan counties in May 2012. Howard was promoted to sergeant and designated zone supervisor of Troop H, Zone 3, Gentry/Harrison counties, in February 2014. In September 2018, she transferred to the Division of Drug and Crime Control, General Headquarters, Jefferson City, and was assigned to the Troop H DDCC Unit. 

Lt. Howard grew up in Savannah, MO, where she graduated from Savannah High School in Savannah, in 1993. She graduated from Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph, MO, with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice in 1996. Lt. Howard attended Leadership in Police Organizations Training in February 2015. 

Lieutenant Richard E. Buttram, assistant director of the Research & Development Division, General Headquarters, Jefferson City, retires with more than 33 years of dedicated service to the Patrol and the citizens it serves.

Buttram was appointed to the Patrol on August 1, 1986, as a member of the 58th Recruit Class. After graduating from the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy, he was assigned to Troop F, Zone 4, Audrain County. In January 1993, he was promoted to corporal and designated assistant zone supervisor of Troop F, Zone 9, Montgomery and Gasconade counties. Buttram was promoted to sergeant in September 1994, and designated zone supervisor of Troop F, Zone 5, Camden and Miller counties. Buttram was promoted to lieutenant effective June 1, 2017, and designated assistant director of the Research & Development Division, General Headquarters, Jefferson City, MO.

Lieutenant Buttram graduated from Doniphan High School in 1982. He attended Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO. In 2015, he completed the IACP’s Leadership in Police Organizations training. Lt. Buttram and his wife, Christine, have two grown children, Nathaniel and Rachel.

Captain Rex M. Scism, director of the Research & Development Division, General Headquarters, Jefferson City, retires with more than 26 years of dedicated service to the Patrol and the citizens it serves.

Scism was appointed to the Patrol on August 1, 1993, as a member of the 66th Recruit Class. Upon graduating from the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy in Jefferson City, he was assigned to Troop F, Zone 8, Callaway County. While assigned to Troop F, Scism also worked in Zone 5, Camden County. He transferred to Troop F’s Criminal Interdiction Unit (Zone 13) in 1998. He was promoted to corporal on October 1, 1999, and designated supervisor of that same unit. In 2001, he transferred to the Gaming Division, General Headquarters, Jefferson City, as an investigator. Scism was promoted to sergeant and designated assistant officer-in-charge of the Jefferson City Investigative Unit on July 28, 2002. He was promoted to lieutenant and designated assistant director of the Gaming Division on September 30, 2007. He was promoted to captain on September 1, 2014, and named director of the Research & Development Division. As director of the Research & Development Division, Captain Scism has had oversight for maintaining the Patrol’s international accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.; performing staff inspections; coordinating Patrol strategic planning activities; composing and maintaining Patrol policies and operational references and forms; and the Statistical Analysis Center. 

Capt. Scism was born in Honolulu, HI. He graduated from Warsaw R-IX High School in Warsaw, MO. In 2001, Scism graduated from Columbia College, in Columbia, MO, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice administration. In 2005, he earned a Master’s of Science degree in criminal justice administration from Columbia College. In 2011, he completed the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Course in St. Louis, MO, and then in 2012, graduated from the 249th Session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA.

Scism has served as a military police officer in the U.S. Army for nearly 19 years

Capt. Scism and his wife of 32 years, Carman (Smith), have three grown children: sons Trenton and Trey reside in Fort Collins, CO; daughter Tiffany lives in Columbia, MO. 

 

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