State Highway and Water Patrol Join Forces
The new law does not cut the number of officers or troopers but it could save the state $3 million a year.
"These are two of the finest and most responsive law enforcement agencies in the country and now, as one unified patrol force, they will be able to do an even better job protecting the people of Missouri," said Nixon.
House Bill 1868 was sponsored by Republican Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst and shifts the Missouri State Water Patrol to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, where it will be re-named as the Divison of Water Patrol. Both agencies are already part of the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
The bill also implements other government measures including a Joint Committee on the Reduction and Reorganization of Programs with State Government and streamlining the purchase of information technology services.
"I think it will be a great opportunity. We have a great relationship already," said State Water Patrol Officer Fred Guthrie.
Both patrol officers and state troopers will participate in additional training. The two agencies will officially unite January 1, 2011.