Hattiesburg, Laurel Police Departments seeking new officers

Hattiesburg, Laurel Police Departments seeking new officers

PINE BELT (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg and Laurel Police Departments are looking for new recruits to add to their force.

The Hattiesburg Police Department is currently short on staff and needs to fill over 20 spots on its police force.

"Officers leave for better pay, officers leave following their spouses, spouses have better jobs, many reasons," HPD Assistant Director for Police Training Chris Johnson said.

HPD is accepting applications until July 26 for its police academy that will start in December.

"We want to have people that are good communicators and good problem solvers," Johnson said. "Someone who is not scared to step up to the plate to handle a situation in the right manner."

The 17-week academy involves a combination of physical fitness and classroom exercises.

"We have very extensive training when it comes to physical fitness as well as being mentally sharp and prepared in the classroom," Johnson said.

The Laurel Police Department is also looking for a few candidates to fill up its force, but LPD Captain Tommy Cox said over the past few years it has been difficult finding recruits.

"With what goes on in the world it's just getting, there's a lot more microscope on police officers right or wrong you know, so other people seem to be taking different direction," Cox said.

Other factors that make the process difficult is finding qualified candidates and training them for a long period of time before they put on their uniform and badge.

"To get someone from the time they apply to the time they can ride by themselves, it takes about a year," Cox said.

If you are interested in applying to that Hattiesburg Police Department, you can apply at the police department or online here.

For the Laurel Police Department you can contact its Human Resources Department.