Public concerned 'the water patrol is now gone'
OSAGE BEACH - A group of state representatives met for the second time Tuesday to hear public comment on the 2011 Missouri Water Patrol Merger.
Multiple citizens from all across the area came and voiced concerns about the merger.
"The water patrol here in Missouri, to me, it no longer exists," said Dallas County Deputy Sheriff Everett Kelly. "They are traffic cops now and we lost the water patrol."
Another citizen, who was an avid lake goer, said when you see what can happen due to a lack of training, it affects you.
The hearings stem from the death of Brandon Ellingson back in May. Ellingson was arrested for intoxication but was not given a properly secured life vest. He then fell out of the boat and drowned.
State Representative Don Phillips says he was happy with the outcome of today's meeting.
"You come almost prepared for the worst and yet today was a very civil meeting," said Phillips. "Even the tone of their language was very civil, very respectful to all involved."
The next hearing will be back in Jefferson City on November 5th.