Lawmakers recently funded a trooper school for the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
A shortage already exists, but Capt. Johnny Poulos with MHP said it is about to get worse.
“We’re allowed 650 (troopers) by state statutes,” said Poulos. “We currently have 475, but 150 could retire today.”
The trooper school would aim to bring in 60 new recruits. Before those recruits are ready, they’d have to endure rigorous training.
“The last school, we actually started 150 in the process,” said Poulos. “But we graduated 48.”
Poulos said that’s because the training is so mentally and physically taxing.
“You have to be prepared, you have to come into school thinking ‘you can’t quit,'” said Poulos. “You can quit the school, but in the field, when you’re alone, you can’t just quit.”
That’s when a trooper’s life is on the line, according to Poulos.
Classes are expected to start in October.
“It’s a 19 week process,” said Poulos. “And we’ll start taking applications shortly.”