Petal OKs hiring 6 cops to fill vacancies

The Petal Board of Aldermen Friday approved the hiring of six new police officers to replace six other officers who've recently left that city's police department for better-paying jobs both in and out of law enforcement.

The hiring of the new officers was the only item on the agenda at a special called meeting of the board.

Six experienced officers have left Petal PD in the last week. Four have returned to the Hattiesburg Police Department, one has joined the Lamar County Sheriff's Department, and one has left law enforcement altogether.

Chief Lee Shelbourn tells 7 ON YOUR SIDE all the officers left for better-paying positions.

The new officers will have starting salaries of $27,000 a year.

Five of them are new to the Petal Police Department, one a former dispatcher.