The Mississippi Highway Patrol has 44 more troopers to patrol the state's roadways. Cadet Class 63 graduated from the Trooper Training Academy yesterday. And as MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports officials say this could help with the state's current trooper shortage.
Troopers of the Mississippi Highway Patrol Cadet Class 63 are marching and singing after graduating from the Highway Patrol's Training Academy. The 44 troopers participated in 22 weeks of training. Patrice Brown of Jackson is one of four women in the graduating class. She says she wants to show other women that it's possible for them to become state troopers.
"I feel like I'm on top of the world," said Brown. "I feel great... feel like a winner. I'm ready to serve and protect... and give back."
Governor Phil Bryant spoke at the graduation ceremony. He says troopers have an important role in the lives of Mississippians.
"On some occasions comforting family members... those that have been involved in an accident or those that have suffered as a crime victim," said Bryant. "Your life has changed but you will change the lives of so many."
Captain Johnny Poulos with the Mississippi Highway Patrol says adding more troopers on the road will help with the current staffing shortage.
"Our job is to make sure motors are making it from point a to point b in a safe manner," said Poulos. "And the more troopers we have on the roadways in Mississippi the safer our roadways are."
The Department of Public Safety says there were roughly 590 troopers in Mississippi prior to the graduation. One Hundred Sixty troopers are eligible for retirement this year.