New trooper school approved by governor
Published 7:00 am Friday, April 14, 2017
Tuesday, Governor Phil Bryant met the constituents’ demands for a new Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper School.
According to a Department of Public Safety press release, SB 2968 will add 60 new troopers to the force, which is currently operating with 498 of the 650 available positions filled.
Yet half of those sworn troopers perform administrative or investigative positions and are not patrolling the highways, according to previous coverage.
To fund the school, the law sets aside $7.3 million from the 2018 budget year, which begins in July.
Wednesday, MHP Colonel Gillard and Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher began discussing the specifics concerning when the school would be held and other details, Troop K Public Information Officer Chase Elkins said.
Currently, it’s uncertain whether any of the newly trained troopers will join Troop K, which covers the six coastal counties, Elkins said.
About 20 troopers patrol the counties within Troop K, with three stationed in Pearl River County, according to previous coverage.
In January, the department pushed for a new round of cadets, after the state faced a significant shortage that limited some counties to only one or two troopers on duty, previous coverage states.
In the past 12 years, the state held three patrol schools, but as troopers continue to retire—149 are eligible for retirement this year—the shortage increased, previous coverage states.
The last trooper school, held in 2015, graduated 46 troopers, according to previous coverage.
Dates and application information for the school will be published on the DPS website soon, Elkins said. Hard copies will be available at MHP stations across the state, he said. More information can be found at www.dps.state.ms.us.