Des Moines, Iowa — The new leader of the Iowa State Patrol is a Rock Valley native and a graduate of Northwestern College.
The Iowa State Patrol announced on August 5, 2015, that Commissioner Roxann Ryan has named Michael Van Berkum, a 30-year veteran of the Iowa State Patrol, as the Division’s 15th Colonel.
She says Colonel Van Berkum graduated from Rock Valley High School in Rock Valley in 1980. He then attended Northwestern College in Orange City until 1985 where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical and Business Education. He continued his education and graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy located in Virginia in 2007. From 2012-2013, Col. Van Burkum served as the Iowa Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy Associates Chapter President.
Ryan says Colonel Van Burkum began his career with the Iowa State Patrol in August of 1985. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2000, and then to Lieutenant in 2003. His strong leadership continued when he was promoted to Captain where he also served in the Intelligence Bureau, and as Department of Public Safety’s Homeland Security Coordinator. Colonel Van Berkum has served as an Area Field Captain and Administrative Operations Captain since 2012.