First, I’ve sponsored a bill (HB No. 332) to increase their base salaries by $2,500. It has been pointed out previously that a starting Mississippi trooper’s salary is $18,000. It’s $55,000 in Texas and about that amount in Florida. A Mississippi trooper serves about 16 years or achieves the rank of staff sergeant before he or she has a salary of $50,000. This just isn’t the way to treat the people whose lives are dedicated to saving ours. Although $2,500 doesn’t totally address the pay problem, it’s a start.
Second, I’ve sponsored a bill to provide for a Mississippi Trooper School class for this year. Right now, we’re almost 170 troopers short of full capacity, with about 150 troopers eligible for retirement. There are eight MHP districts in Mississippi with 328 troopers to serve them, including administrative officers, drivers license officers and others who are not directly on the roads. We’ve had two trooper schools in the last ten years, with the most recent being in 2015 at a cost of about $7 million.