WHAT OTHERS SAY: Missouri Highway Patrol cross-trains to boost safety at Lake of the Ozarks

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | 11:15 a.m. CDT; updated 4:56 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 17, 2014

Missouri law enforcement is adapting a concept from athletics.

The concept is cross-training and the adaptation is wise.

Just as athletes enhance fitness and safety by training in multiple disciplines, state troopers will promote public safety at the Lake of the Ozarks by acquiring training both on highways and waterways.

Capt. Gregory D. Kindle, commander of the Missouri Highway Patrol’s Troop F, said: “Our goals center around reducing injuries and the loss of life in our communities. In trying to accomplish this goal, troopers around the Lake of the Ozarks are being trained to provide both road and marine services. The net result will be the ability to have a larger enforcement presence where needed — whether on land or on the water — at the Lake of the Ozarks.”

Troop F includes the Lake area, where the patrol recently created a new zone for troopers in Miller County. Within the Troop F area, Miller County leads in annual fatalities, averaging 11 traffic deaths a year since 2008.

Neighboring Camden County has been third in the troop with just more than 7 fatalities a year.

As part of the restructuring, Kindle said road troopers in Miller, Camden and Morgan counties will begin providing enhanced marine enforcement on the Lake of the Ozarks during the busiest boating times, including each weekend in the summer. He added the troopers also will be trained to supplement road enforcement, providing flexibility to move officers to land or water as needed.

“Our mission is to have a positive impact in our communities by helping save lives,” the captain said. “Our officers are committed to helping make the entire Lake of the Ozarks community a safe place to enjoy.”

Missouri motorists and boaters continue to play an important role by reporting violations to Troop F by phone at (573) 751-1000 or *55 on a cell phone.

Promoting public safety is shared effort. We commend the patrol for maximizing manpower and resources through dual training. And we encourage Missourians to obey the law and report people who do not.

Copyright Jefferson City News-Tribune. Reprinted with permission.

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