Mississippi police training begins at the state level with the Department of Public Safety, although law enforcement careers are also available at the county municipal levels.
State Agency Jobs Under the Mississippi Department of Public Safety
Mississippi State Troopers: Troopers are in charge of patrolling state and federal roads throughout the state, ensuring laws are being followed properly and enforcing them when they are not. State troopers also provide support and backup service to other law enforcement agencies as needed. Troopers receive academic training in the areas of human behavior, investigation, law, and patrol procedures. A recent count put the number of state troopers at 550.
Mississippi Bureau of Investigations: The MBI has general police powers throughout the state. Its mission is to investigate, prevent, and report crime, while acting as a coordination liaison between other state, federal, and local authorities. The MBI has a protective services unit, special ops team, victim assistance program, and a criminal information center.
Candidates for these public safety positions must complete training that includes dozens of weeks spent in classrooms, fitness centers, firing ranges, and reviewing emergency operations procedures at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers’ Training Academy (MLEOTA).
County Sheriff Law Enforcement Jobs in Mississippi
Hinds County: The Hinds County Sheriff’s Department recently arrested a man on one count of dog fighting and 26 counts of cruelty to animals. Animal control officials were called after sheriff’s deputies discovered 25 pit bulls tied with logging chains to car axles buried in the ground. Officials said the dogs will be euthanized because they are too aggressive to be put up for adoption in an animal shelter.
Harrison County: The Harrison County Sheriff’s Department has an enforcement, communications, investigations, and corrections division as well as a mobile command center and training academy. The investigations division includes criminal investigations, animal control, aviation, and a SWAT Team.
Forrest County: The Forrest County Sheriff’s Department is responsible for the roughly 75,000 area residents, and organized in ten divisions, including warrants, patrol, investigations, and an adult correctional facility. Forrest County has additionally neared completion of a new jail facility.
Municipal Police Jobs in Mississippi
Jackson PD: The Jackson Police Department provides service to 185,000 residents in an area encompassing 122 square miles. The police department itself consists of 680 employees, 430 of which are sworn officers. As part of the application process, the candidate must undergo a psychological evaluation, polygraph test, and background investigation.
Gulfport PD: In 2012 Gulfport Police officers responded to 153,647 calls, which led to the creation of 25,786 police reports. In that same year police reported a total of 136 violent crimes, of which 75 were robberies and 39 were aggravated assaults. The Gulfport PD currently has a force of 200 officers, and to join their ranks a prospective candidate must have a mostly clean criminal record.
Biloxi PD: A recent count of the sworn officers in the Biloxi PD revealed a total of 130, with an additional 76 civilians employed to provide support. This staffing combined with 250 vehicles and $25 million worth of inventory pushes Biloxi’s annual police budget over $20 million. This department has a strong focus on community-centered policing, with outreach programs such as DARE, National Night Out Against Violence, and the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
Hattiesburg PD: Police officers in Hattiesburg are responsible for maintaining law and order in their city, which includes 55 square miles of territory and around 47,000 residents according to the most recent census. The department is comprised of 246 employees, 138 being sworn officers. Officer candidates must be of good moral character, and at least some college education is preferred.
Greenville PD: The Greenville PD has partnered with the Crime Stoppers organization that acts as a virtual precinct, taking tips by phone call and online submission. This cooperation has led to more than 400 arrests and over $500,000 in recovered property. Candidates for the Greenville PD must submit a short hand-written autobiography and provide four character references who are not family members.
Mississippi Law Enforcement Salaries
As reported in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, the median Mississippi law enforcement salaries were:
- Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $47,070
- Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $45,110
- Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: $30,370
Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Mississippi
Police Officer and Sheriff Salary in Mississippi
Salaries among police officers in Mississippi can be very different between cities. As an example, the Jackson Police Department offers police recruits a beginning salary of $23,750 after they have completed the 14-week training program. After 1 of service, their salary is increased to $28,887.
Likewise, the Gulfport Police Department pays its officers by the following schedule:
- Patrol Officer Grade 1 (Recruit): $32,330.08
- Patrol Officer Grade 2 (Less than 2 years, more than 1 year and academy and PTO): $34,921.55
- Patrol Officer Grade 3 (More than 2 years – Lateral, MS POST certified): $37,495
Police officers working for the Biloxi Police Department are given a starting salary of $36,193. In addition to their base salary, they are also given educational incentive pay as follows:
- Associate’s degree: $600 per year
- Bachelor’s degree: $1,200 per year
- Master’s degree: $1,800 per year
- Doctorate degree: $2,400 per year
Salaries for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Mississippi
State Trooper Salary in Mississippi
During 2010, the median state trooper salary in Mississippi was $30,630, while those in the top ten percent earned about $63,140.
Salaries for Police Supervisors and Detectives in Mississippi