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Lake goers comment on Missouri Highway Patrol policing both land and water

Following the sentencing of Trooper Anthony Piercy, lake goers comment on how they feel about the Missouri State Highway Patrol policing both land and water. (File)

Following the sentencing of Trooper Anthony Piercy, lake goers comment on how they feel about the Missouri State Highway Patrol policing both land and water.

For 25 years John Bozzardi and his family have been avid boaters.

He said safety is crucial to being on the water.

"Law enforcement on the water is just as important as it is on the land," Bozzardi said. "They keep people from killing each other."

He said the merger that took place in 2011 united the highway and water patrols is a good thing.

"I think probably running two separate departments is kind of an expensive proposition - running a water patrol and running a highway patrol," he said.

Off camera, a few people mentioned that the combined unit leads to under prepared road officers working the water.

Many said the shortcuts triggered by the merger contributed to the death of Brandon Elllingson, who drowned while handcuffed after being arrested by Trooper Anthony Piercy.

Piercy was an 18-year-old road trooper who received only two days of field training on the water.

"They can't just pull them off the streets to have them put them on a boa," Bozzardi said. "As long as they're trained properly how to operate a boat and boat safety, I think it's fine."

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