The Mississippi Highway Patrol is aiming to bring experienced law enforcement officers into its ranks with its newest class of potential troopers.

MHP is currently accepting applications for Trooper School Class 66, a first-of-its-kind class open only to certified law enforcement officers with a minimum of two years of experience in the field.

“It’s history in the making,” said Staff Sgt. Bryan McGee, spokesperson for MHP Troop F.

He said this is the first time the patrol has opened a class specifically for those who already have law enforcement experience. McGee said the goal is to be able to bring these potential troopers into the ranks more quickly by capitalizing on the education and experience they already have. The course will be taught over a 12-week-period instead of the normal 22-week session.

“This will help get them out on the road faster,” he said.

It will also bring a unique set of experience to the highway patrol by recruiting officers who have education in traffic laws and other laws as well as direct experience in the crucial skills of dealing with people in the challenging situations law enforcement officers face every day.

McGee said MHP constantly runs a deficit in the number of Troopers in its ranks. The agency is authorized for around 650 troopers statewide but is currently well below that number. As current troopers retire and newly trained troopers come into the ranks filling those slots it’s difficult to gain ground on those numbers.

The trooper and spokesperson said for those currently in law enforcement the highway patrol can be a great way to step up to an even greater challenge. He’s quick to praise the state’s law enforcement at all levels, but he said there is something special about being a Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper.

“It’s the elite. It’s an honor to be a trooper,” he said.

Working with MHP also offers the unique opportunity for troopers to serve and protect those in a much larger area. Troop F covers nine counties in North Mississippi and other troops across the state are responsible for similarly sized districts.

“You have the opportunity to move around the counties and communities and can work anywhere within your district,” he said. “It’s something different every day.”

The deadline for those interested to apply for the upcoming class is January 21. Applicants must be at least 21-years-old, a US citizen and resident of Mississippi and of good moral character. They must hold a high school diploma or GED and a minimum standards certification from an accredited law enforcement academy and have two or more years of law enforcement experience.

Full details and an application can be found at https://www.dps.ms.gov/highway-patrol

Banner Independent Editor

Managing editor of the Daily Corinthian’s sister newspaper, Booneville’s Banner-Independent, Brant Sappington has been a member of the Daily Corinthian family since 2001.

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