The Highway and Water Patrols continue to work together to merge the two agencies.
The new head of the Highway Patrol, Colonel Ron Replogle, says making the Highway Patrol and Water Patrol into one agency is challenging on many fronts, but that joint cooperation and ongoing communications have helped. Replogle says the Highway Patrol will effectively absorb the Water Patrol.
He says the Water Patrol currently has six districts. After the merger, the Water Patrol Division will be reduced to four.
He says the general public won’t notice a difference in enforcement, only in uniforms. He says the merger will save the state money without a reduction in services the public has come to expect.
Some members of the Water Patrol are having to deal with an identity shift, Replogle says, and are — in a way — losing the department they served for so long. He says that psychological barrier is perhaps the biggest challenge to overcome within the merger process.