Under the Lens: Limited opportunity for Mississippi crime investigators

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Experts in forensic science have said it has never been a better time for the field in the state of Mississippi, and according to USM Detective Captain Rusty Keyes, the state has everything it needs to remain on the cutting edge of crime investigation except for one crucial element - people to do the work.

"Kids are leaving Mississippi for other opportunities," said Keyes. "For instance, we lost 16 students last year just to the Washington D.C. area."

But how do we make more opportunities available in our state?

"That's a legislative issue," said Keyes.

Seven on Your Side reached out to local legislatures about the few opportunities in the state for crime scene investigators, but never received comment.

Despite lack of funding from the legislature to create more opportunities in the field, Keyes said Mississippi is better than ever in crime scene investigation.

"Mississippi is still producing good cases," said Keyes. "We're still doing what is required, what is necessary to do with what we have."

Although there are few opportunities in the state for CSI's, Keynes still urged students to pursue work in the state first before applying elsewhere.

"Don't just give up too quick," said Keyes. "There is opportunity in Mississippi and I would encourage those first before they leave."