Harsher penalties to protect law enforcement officers? - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Harsher penalties to protect law enforcement officers?

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Law enforcement officials nationwide are taking stock of the horror that has unfolded in the wake of police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

But are Mississippi lawmen changing their approach to covering dangerous situations such as Dallas and Baton Rouge? 

MLEOTA Basic Class Recruits go through 12 weeks of training. Mississippi Highway Patrol cadets go through a challenging 22-week test of skills, weapons and tactics and Major Thomas Tuggle's job to identify the the ones that are there for the right reasons. 

"My biggest challenge is to identify those recruits, who walk through the door, that want to be police officers, and the ones that are walking through the door that are here to learn what police officers know, so they can take these tactics back and use them against us," Tuggle explained. 

Tuggle said that the MHP will not change training protocol and the 94 recruits that are in training now will hit the streets in August, prepared and well aware of any dangers. 

"They know what's necessary to make great decisions when they deal with violators," Tuggle said. "You know we have handguns. We also, some departments issue long rifles, but in situation where you are out on the scene where a guy has a long rifle you have a handgun - these guys have to react to that and make well informed decisions."

Monday, the Governor of Texas proposed hate crime protections and increased penalties for crimes in which the victim was an officer.

Tuggle says harsher penalties should be on the books nationwide.

"There is something they need to look at. Killing a police officer is serious," said Tuggle. "I think there needs to be some sort of legislation enacted that if you kill a police officer, you give up your rights to appeal. If you get your trial and after that trial is over, I think there needs to be some serious consequences after that."

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