Department of Public Safety News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 04, 2011
Full patrol forces maintained on roads and waterways, while achieving administrative efficiencies; cross-training troopers begins this month
The Department of Public Safety announces the merger of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri State Water Patrol was completed as scheduled on Jan. 1, 2011. The Highway Patrol now includes a 20th division known as the Water Patrol Division, commanded by Major Tommy Roam, who is a 30-year veteran of the Water Patrol.
"Unifying these two respected and highly responsive law enforcement agencies will enhance the ability to serve and protect the citizens of Missouri, while at the same time creating administrative efficiencies" said Gov. Jay Nixon. "The result is a single, statewide law enforcement agency that will seamlessly patrol the state's roadways and waterways. The comprehensive planning and teamwork that went into this merger has left me even more impressed with the tremendous leadership team that is in place.”
On June 30, 2010, Gov. Nixon signed House Bill 1868, unifying the Highway and Water Patrols, maintaining the full patrol forces on the roads and waterways, while consolidating administrative functions. Unifying the two agencies is expected to eventually save $3 million annually.
"The merger of these two outstanding agencies was accomplished because the Highway Patrol troopers and Water Patrol officers worked together to make the transition into one organization as smooth as possible," said Department of Public Safety Director John. M. Britt. "Together they will be an even more effective force, seamlessly patrolling Missouri's roads and waters.”
"The only difference that the public should notice is that the men and women serving on Missouri's lakes and rivers are now dressed in the blue uniform of the Highway Patrol," said Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "The two agencies have worked well together for years, trained at the same academy and share the same commitment to protecting Missourians. Together we are a strong law enforcement agency."
In the final days of December, all Water Patrol officers took the oath of office as Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers, culminating a process that began immediately after HB 1868 was approved by the General Assembly:
· In August, many Water Patrol support functions, including payroll, personnel and purchasing, were transferred to the Highway Patrol. · In September, statewide Water Patrol dispatch communications were consolidated with MSHP communications at Troop F in Jefferson City. Water Patrol instructors also began teaching a course on the history and operations of the Water Patrol to Highway Patrol troopers during their regular in-service training. · By October 15, all remaining Water Patrol General Headquarters personnel were transferred to the Highway Patrol's General Headquarters facilities. · In December, meetings were held for Water Patrol members to discuss human resources issue. Blue Patrol uniforms and personal equipment were also issued to Water Patrol officers.
The Water Patrol Division is a part of the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Field Operations Bureau. On January 10, 2011, the first group of new troopers assigned to the Water Patrol Division will begin a four-week training session at the Missouri State Highway Patrol Training Academy. The training will be followed by 10 days of in-car training to familiarize the troopers with highway enforcement policy and procedures. In the future, troopers interested in patrolling as part of the Water Patrol Division will receive specialized training. By April 1, all Water Patrol Division vessels will be marked with the emblem of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
For more information, call 573-751-5432 or e-mail [email protected]