On the water by ProQuest


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									 y Michelle Perin
By Michell Pe n

                                              On the water
                                                   The many faces of law enforcement marine patrol

                                                                              I     n 2008, major flooding wreaked havoc
                                                                                    in the Midwest.
                                                                                 “Since 1993, we haven’t had that kind of
                                                                              flooding,” recalls Missouri State Water Patrol
                                                                              (MSWP) Sgt. Gerald Jerry Callahan. On
                                                                              March 16 flash flooding began through the
                                                                              smaller streams and lasted through April. In
                                                                              June, the Mississippi and Missouri came out
                                                                              of their banks. “By the end of July, we had
                                                                              9 inches of rain,” recalls Callahan. “Mark
                                                                              Twain Lake was at its highest level. We got a
                                                                              lot of calls for rescue and evacuations.”
                                                                                 During this time officers trained and
                                                                              equipped in marine patrol came into view.
                                                                              Agencies like the MSWP prove they are
                                                                              invaluable not only during natural disasters,
                                                                              but also on a daily basis, as they strive to
                                                                              keep water areas safe. Other agencies like the
                                                                              United States Coast Guard and the Oregon
                                                                              State Marine Board (OSMB) assist in this
                                                                              mission as well.

26    Law Enforcement Technology   ■   September 2009   ■   www.officer.com
Missouri State Water Patrol                   armed. Celebrating their Golden         “original jurisdiction,” the water.
   Created in 1959 as the Missouri            Anniversary in 2009, MSWP now           MSWP patrols over 272,770 acres
State Boat Commission, MSWP                   boasts 97 law enforcement-certified,    of lakes, 5,500 miles of shorelines,
officers had no law enforcement               uniformed officers. Although the        519 miles of the Mississippi River
status. The nine original offi-               officers have statewide jurisdiction,   and 533 miles of the Missouri River.
cers were neither certified nor               they predominately stay within their    It also patrols major reservoirs and
                                                                                      countless smaller tributaries and
                                                                                      float streams.
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