Meridian, Miss The Mississippi Highway Patrol is now accepting applications for its newest trooper school, starting Nov. 9, 2014.
CPL Andy West says that there is a great need for new troopers. Locally in Troop H, the need is very great as it has only a handful of troopers to patrol the 9-county district.
West says, "We currently have 20 officers responsible for covering the 9 counties in our district and at any time, 10 of those officers could be off and that leaves us with 10 officers to cover the 9 counties. And when you divide that into 2 shifts we are sometimes relying on 5 officers to cover 9 counties. It's that way around the state."
West says part of the problem is just how long it has been since the last trooper class graduated.
"If you look back, our last patrol school graduated in 2011," said West. "This school that we are scheduled to begin November 9th, they won’t graduate till April 2015. You can see that would be a 4-year gap between our last school and this one."
West says there have already been quite a few applications submitted, but they need a lot more due to the dropout rate of the school. He hopes this next trooper class will graduate 60 new troopers.
"We’ve had quite a few applicants that have already come by and obtained there copy. We're looking for some good applicants,” according to West. “We'd like to stress that this is a career; this isn't a position for the average person looking for a job."
Starting pay is $37,000/year, but during training cadets receive a stipend of $2000/month. You can pick up applications at the MHP office, 910 Highway 80 East in Meridian, or at any MHP office.