Gulfport Council concerned about number of officers set to retire

The hefty number of Gulfport police officers set to retire has some city officials worried.
In the next few years, 43 Gulfport police officers become eligible to retire and according to officials that means over 1,000 years of experience. City officials expressed their concerns over the future of the police department to Police Chief Leonard Papania during today’s council meeting.
Chief Papania says the police department started preparing years ago to handle the amount of officers retiring and feels well equipped to make sure the city is kept just as safe. “You put them in mid-level leadership positions. You ensure that they’re being educated. They have the Southern Police Institute where we send two officers per year there and it’s an administrative officers course. They train there and there’s a lot of other training that we send them nationally and we bring a lot in. While you don’t want to know we have that many retiring, you do want to know we are prepared for it.”
After starting the year off with 15 vacancies, the police department is now left with four positions to fill. If you’re interested in becoming a part of the Gulfport police force, visit

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