Water Patrol Battle

A political fight brewing over who should patrol Missouri’s water-ways.

A state lawmaker has proposed a bill to reverse the merger of the state’s water patrol division with the Highway Patrol. The merger happened back in 2011. State Rep. Diane Franklin argues that separating the two divisions would restore the public’s trust in the water patrol and improve safety on Missouri waterways. Her proposal comes two weeks after a patrol trooper was charged with involuntary manslaughter — the trooper handcuffed a man during a waterway arrest but the man fell from the patrol boat and drowned. Not clear how much support there is in the legislature to separate the water patrol from the highway patrol.