Recruiting efforts increase among Coast police

In recent years, police departments have upped their recruiting efforts as new officers become more scarce and departments in South Mississippi are no exception.

Many departments sent representatives to Jackson, Mississippi today for the Governor’s Job Fair Network.

Sgt. Todd Stewart at Biloxi PD tells News 25 that being a cop isn’t just writing tickets. An officer fills many roles. Depending on the call, they can be a counselor, they could fix up a flat tire, or even be a guide for impressionable young minds.

Highly publicized incidents like police-involved shootings are just one variable in the scarcity of recruits. “It’s a combination of things that have caused it. You know, bad publicity, people having a distrust of police officers. Our functions never change — we go above and beyond to serve our communities, but sometimes it doesn’t help when people jump to conclusions and look at police in a bad light instead of waiting for the facts to come and waiting to make an informed decision at that time to what actually happened.”

Gulfport and Biloxi police officers start out close to the $40,000 per year mark with pay increases after a year. Police departments in our smaller communities around the Coast offer competitive pay as well.

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