MHP looking for certified officers to join the team by recruiting them through new Patrol School
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - When it comes to adding more troopers on the roadways, the Mississippi Highway Patrol is thinking outside the box, doing something it’s never done before.
“Coming up in May, we have Class 66, and that’s our first ever Lateral Patrol School,” said Master Sergeant Eric Henry, Recruiting Director with MHP.
Basically, it’s a patrol class for certified officers.
“If you have two or more years of prior law enforcement experience with a police department or sheriff’s department, even out of state, and it’s accredited through minimum standards here in Mississippi, you are qualified to attend our academy,” said Henry.
Since the officers are already certified, their training will be quicker compared to someone just entering the academy.
“The normal class of the Mississippi highway patrol academy runs about 22-23 weeks. With this shortened class, we’re going to run it between 12-14 weeks,” Henry explained.
Henry said this increases the turnaround rate for how fast they can get them on the road.
“Of course, they will have to go through our requirements as far as our firearms training, our emergency driving, first aid, they also have to get taser certified again,” the veteran officer said.
Henry said this is MHP’s way of being unique and creative to recruit more troopers.
“We’re still battling a trooper shortage,” said Henry. “Of course, we’ve had a number to retire; we’re still trying to get our numbers up.”
A fully-staffed MHP consists of 650 troopers. Right now, Henry said there are roughly 500.
However, he’s looking to increase that total with this new class. The potential starting salary is $48,000 for the first year.
The recruiting director said he’s already seeing a number of people apply for the class.
“It also gives them an opportunity to see what it’s like to work on the state level,” said Henry. “It gives them a different opportunity as far as retirement, and it gives them a different opportunity as far as a career.”
MHP is now taking applications for the class. The deadline to apply is January 21st.
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