Hattiesburg police accepting applications

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Police Department has started taking applications from the general public to fill vacancies in the department. The city, which is slotted for 140 officers, is currently operating with 96 and is working to get the numbers back up.

A recruit class is scheduled to graduate on June 11th adding additional officers to the force.

Once the application process is over, the testing portion will begin to sort through the candidates to move forward. The department hopes to have enough applicants to start a new recruit class by the end of the year.

"We are always looking at ways to bring people in, we are always looking at the national trend and the state trend as far as pay, benefits, things like that, and we try to stay within standards, or not necessarily standards, but with in competition of other agencies our size and our crimes and stuff like that so we are continually looking at that," said Hattiesburg Police PIO, Lt. Jon Traxler.

The department is always accepting lateral applications, but hopes to have a large pool of candidates to send through an academy.

Traxler added that the department hopes to get a recruit class started by December and graduate as many as possible.