Mississippi Highway Patrol starts holiday enforcement period ami - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi Highway Patrol starts holiday enforcement period amid recruitment efforts

Law enforcement will be out in "full force" for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Source: WLBT Law enforcement will be out in "full force" for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Source: WLBT
Law enforcement will be out in "full force" for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Source: WLBT Law enforcement will be out in "full force" for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Source: WLBT
Law enforcement will be out in "full force" for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Source: WLBT Law enforcement will be out in "full force" for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Source: WLBT
Law enforcement will be out in "full force" for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Source: WLBT Law enforcement will be out in "full force" for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Source: WLBT
Law enforcement will be out in "full force" for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Source: WLBT Law enforcement will be out in "full force" for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -

Law enforcement will be out in "full force" for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. It's something you hear around this time every year, but the definition of full force is changing as the Mississippi Highway Patrol is still facing a manpower shortage.

Drivers admit, they notice when troopers are out on the roads.

"I'm not seeing any troopers out on the hallways," said driver Robert Williams. "I see a couple here and there. Normally see them like every mile or 5 miles you'll see them. But now you don't see as many."

Troopers say that visibility is the name of the game and that's another reason they're looking to boost their numbers. Some say it will make a difference in their driving habits if they see them more frequently.

"Slow my speed down," noted Adriana Madlock. "Make sure I'm going the right speed. That's the first thing. Because sometimes I do lose track of how fast I'm going."

"You don't see them so you don't worry about them," added Williams. "Just keep going, I guess."

As you see more blue lights this holiday weekend, a billboard like this may also catch your attention. They're stepping up efforts to get the word out as they recruit for the next trooper school.

"For people that are tough mentally and physically," said MHP Corporal Eric Henry. "The School is a challenge. We're going to put you in a stressful environment because it's a stressful environment out here in the real world. We're looking for people that are willing to except the challenge."

57 new troopers graduated in March, but they've not been turned loose on their own yet. They'll ride with field training officers until the middle of June.

"Main thing we stress out here is officer safety because at the end of the day no matter what uniform that you wear, when you walk out that door you may not be able to come back home," added Henry. "So we stress that through the patrol school and we stress that through the FTO program."

We wanted to check in on exactly what the status of MHP's manpower is. They have 518 sworn troopers right now. 145 of those are eligible to retire at any time.

Those numbers may not mean a lot to you, but to put it into perspective, state law allows MHP to 650 troopers. Meaning they're 132 troopers shy of their max.

The holiday enforcement period started at 6:00 p.m. Friday and runs through Monday at midnight.

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