HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Police Department is looking to add more sworn officers in its department.
"We are looking for the best of the best," said HPD spokesman Ryan Moore.
Right now candidates at the Hattiesburg Police Training Academy are working to become a part of the elite team.
"This is 17 weeks of some of the toughest challenges these guys and girls will see in the course of their life," Moore said. "They are going to teach them everything they need to know to stay alive and stay safe in their everyday day to day job as a Hattiesburg Police Officer."
Right now an officer shortage lingers. Moore said currently, less than 100 sworn officers protect the hub city.
"The mayor set a goal for September for us to have at least 107 officers," Moore said. "Right now we are at 98. The department is slotted for 120. Right now we are hoping to continue strong with this class and make it to that number by September."
Rigorous training will continue inside and outside the classroom to prepare officers to ultimately be able to handle the pressure in front of the badge.
The police academy began Monday with 22 candidates, they are now down to a total of 15.
Firefighter candidates are also two weeks in to their academy's training.