The merger of the Highway Patrol and the Water Patrol is reaching its final stage this month, the first month members of the water division of the Highway Patrol are mostly off the waters and on the roads. The former water patrol will still have a presence at the Lake of the Ozarks, but most officers are riding along with regular road troopers for a month to make sure they’re familiar with road procedures.
Patrol Lieutenant John Hotz says water division officers are hitting the road at a time when enforcement increases–Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. He says they’ll also provide additional capabilities for responses to emergency calls in winter’s bad weather.
Hotz says the road patrol supplemented the water patrol’s enforcement inthe spring by putting road troopers in boats. He says the merger will not change the usual winter safety rogrmas the former water patrol held in the winter months.