3 Florida state law enforcement agencies merging

TALLAHASSEE — State environmental and agriculture officers are swapping their uniforms for the tan and green togs of Florida wildlife officers.

They'll make the change Sunday when the three state law enforcement agencies are merged.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will absorb 145 sworn officers from the departments of Environmental Protection and Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The merger is expected to save more than $3 million over the next five years and $1.28 million in recurring annual expenses.

Wildlife officers will assume the duties of the other two agencies including patrolling state parks and forests as well as enforcing environmental and agricultural laws.

Col. Jim Brown, director of the commission's law enforcement division, says the merger also will make more officers available for responding to calls and improve efficiency.

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