Bill to undo merger of state patrols getting mixed reviews

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (AP) – A measure to reverse the 2011 merger of Missouri’s highway and waterpatrols is being applauded by some local officials concerned about a drop-off in troopers on the state’s waterways. But it is strongly opposed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

Republican Rep. Diane Franklin of Camdenton filed a bill last month to dismantle the merger, which is costing taxpayers about $900,000 more each year than they paid for separate patrol divisions.

The Kansas City Star reports arrests for intoxicated boating sank by 61 percent since the January 2011 merger. The Highway Patrol reports there were 344 drunken boating arrests in 2010 but only 134 last year.

Stone County Commissioner Jerry Dodd said he’s hearing complaints from residents and business owners about fewer troopers on Table Rock Lake.