The Hattiesburg Police Department is training a large group of new officers, but critics are publicly calling for the mayor to terminate Chief David Wynn.
Mayor Johnny DuPree swore in 28 new HPD recruits Monday. It's potentially one of the larger classes ever, with men ranging from ages 21 to 48.
But the swearing-in came a day after published reports that 56 police officers have left the department over the past two years.
Was DuPree aware of how many had left over two years?
"Well I didn't read the articles but I know that this has been an ongoing topic of discussion since the last election," he says.
But on top of that the Hattiesburg American published an editorial Sunday calling for DuPree to replace Wynn. DuPree says he has not read that editorial either.
"You don't become a full bird colonel in the guard, you don't become a major in the highway patrol without having some management skills. And I think he has those skills. I don't think he has done anything so bad that I have to fire him."
In 15 weeks the HPD and the administration hope to turn the 28 recruits into at least 20 new officers. It would be a much-needed boost for an understaffed agency.