Top commanders of Kansas National Guard, Kansas Highway Patrol to retire
TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly’s top general in the Kansas National Guard as well as the superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol set their retirement dates, officials said Wednesday.
Maj. Gen. David Weishaar, who has held the position of adjutant general since April 2020, intends to step down April 1. KHP Col. Herman Jones plans to leave the state law enforcement agency July 1. He was appointed the agency’s superintendent in 2019.
The governor said both men helped make Kansas safer during a period that included the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Both have overseen immense operations throughout our entire state during challenging times, and I am grateful for their service and dedication,” Kelly said.
Weishaar, a two-star general who came through the ranks of the Kansas Air Guard, was appointed by Kelly to lead 7,000 soldiers, airmen and civilians of the Kansas National Guard. The job included duties as the state’s homeland security adviser and director of the state’s emergency management operations.
“Any success I’ve had over the past 42 years is because of the teams I’ve been privileged to be a part of,” Weishaar said. “They made it fun to come to work, even on the days we had to deal with things that weren’t fun.”
Kelly said she would appoint Brig. Gen. Michael Venerdi the next adjutant general. He’s currently chief of staff to the Kansas Air Guard and director of the joint staff of the Kansas National Guard in Topeka. He previously commanded the 184th Wing at McConnell Air Force Base.
Jones, with 45 years of law enforcement experience, previously served as Shawnee County sheriff. A replacement for the Cabinet-level position hasn’t been selected, the governor said.
He said it was a “sincere and distinct honor” to serve as superintendent of KHP and to work with colleagues to “maintain the integrity of this agency.”
The KHP leadership has been embroiled in a series of lawsuits and the state trooper association called for a change in command of the agency.