The Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration will begin with the 17th Annual Motorcade Parade at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 19 at the Lincoln School Building. It will continue with a keynote presentation by Charles R. Jackson, director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, at noon at Mission Missouri. Jackson is scheduled to speak about community service.
Jackson assumed the position of director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety on May 29, 2001. Prior to being appointed to the cabinet level position by Gov. Bob Holden, he was the director of the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Traffic Division.
After completion of recruitment training, he served in the following capacities: enforcement officer in Columbia, Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Officer for the MSHP, assistant director of MSHP Traffic Records Division, director of MSHP Public Information Division and commanding officer of Troop F.
Among Jackson's accomplishments throughout his career include: being the first African American promoted to captain, to serve as the director of Public Information, the assistant and then director of the Traffic Division and commanding officer at the troop center.
Founder of the black troopers organization, Central States Troopers Coalition, Jackson said the organization was created to assist and encourage black officers to prepare themselves for upward mobility with their agency. When the Coalition began, five states were members and the highest ranked black member was a lieutenant. Today 27 states have joined the Coalition and membership ranges from lieutenant colonels to majors, captains, lieutenants, sergeants, corporals and one director of DPS.
Jackson received a bachelor of science in criminal justice from Lincoln University in Jefferson City. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, he serves on several advisory boards. Jackson also founded and serves as pastor of the Guiding Light Missionary Baptist Church of Christ in Fulton.
Immediately following the program, Mission Missouri will serve a fellowship dinner.
For more information, contact Michael Harris at 472-4119 or Louis Wiggins at 471-5980.