A new group of state troopers will be hitting Mississippi roadways in the coming days. Friday, the latest group of M.H.P. cadets graduated from the State Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy.
Nearly 500 people applied for the training, 140 qualified to attend, but in the end that number was cut to less than half, to become the few, the proud, Mississippi Highway Patrolmen and women. 51 new state troopers welcomed by Governor Haley Barbour before receiving their diplomas. Barbour told the troopers, "This is hard work, this is risky work and we are proud of their strength and courage."
They endured 23 weeks of classroom instruction, physical fitness firearms and emergency operations training. The men and woman say it took blood, sweat and tears to accomplish but they succeeded.
Cindy Searcy the only female says, "It's an honor to know I get to wear this blue and gray with all the fellow troopers men and women out there it's such a brotherhood it's a feeling like you can't put words on it."
Also receiving his diploma, Trooper Matthew Hood. His father who was also a trooper, died in the line of duty in 2009. Master Sergeant Steve Hood, a 26 year veteran killed in a car wreck in 2009, while pursing a fleeing vehicle on highway 370 near Lee County.
"Great day for me I've looked forward to this day since I was little, he looked forward to since I can remember he always looked forward to pining a badge on me I hate he's not here to do that but I know he's proud as he's ever been of me," says Hood.
The newly commissioned troopers will be assigned field training officers for eight weeks, before they're sent out on patrol, on their own. With this latest class, Mississippi now has 550 state troopers.
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