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Oklahoma Lake Patrols Face Staffing Shortage

Fort Gibson.jpg
KWGS News-File Photo
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People playing in the water at Taylor's Ferry on Fort Gibson Lake

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says there's a shortage of troopers trained to patrol the state's lakes and that the marine enforcement division will be spread thin as the summer boating season begins.

Highway Patrol Captain Victor Lee said Friday that every troop in the state needs more officers.

Troopers in marine enforcement carry out routine boat inspections before the boats launch and investigate boat crashes and drownings. They also take part in search and rescue.

The Tulsa World reports that people are already flocking to the water, and there have been five drownings so far this year.

Lee says a new class of recruits will soon graduate and that will help make more troopers available for water duty.