The Mississippi Highway Patrol is short-staffed, and that shortage is even more obvious during an enforcement period.
Captain Johnny Polous of the Mississippi Highway Patrol said holiday enforcement periods show a crunch.
“We’ve been in this enforcement period since Friday night at 6pm, for the 4th of July holiday,” said Polous. “Monday was predicted to be slower, which gave us a bit of a break, but the fourth is expected to be busy with people out celebrating.”
All available troopers are on the roads, but it isn’t just the holiday period where the shortage exists. Nearly half of the trooper force is eligible to retire. Thankfully, Polous said the testing process for the next round of trooper school is underway.
“We were allowed 60 positions by the legislature,” said Polous. “So we hope to graduate 60 troopers.”
School is set to start in October, but before class begins, the testing is already underway to make sure the candidates know what they are getting themselves into when it comes to the rigorous training.
“We have a lengthy testing application process,” said Polous. “We have the written application, then reading comprehension test, and there’s physical and mental tests as well.”
Through this process, the candidates will be narrowed down to the ones who will start the class in October, and then hopefully graduate. In the past, some 150 students entered the class, while only 40 graduated.