Walk through Mississippi focuses on low law enforcement pay - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Walk through Mississippi focuses on low law enforcement pay

By Meggan Gray – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Beau Phillips is the district manager for Glock Inc. He's a former police officer who believes the law enforcement community gets short changed by elected leaders. So on Monday morning, Phillips took a step to fight for better law enforcement pay.

Before taking that step, Phillips got a tender kiss from his wife. He offered a word of encouragement for his teary eyed daughter. And then he turned around and received a quick embrace from his son.

With that out of the way, Phillips, his backpack, and his cart, were off on a 400 mile journey.

"I'm attempting to raise awareness for the low salaries and wages that law enforcement officers make in the state of Mississippi," he said.

Phillips is a former Tupelo police officer. Like so many others who wear a badge, he needed a second job to keep food on his family's table.

"We need to make a little bit more money just so you know that at 2:00 in the morning, when you call, when you need someone, a qualified person is going to come there, and they're not going to be exhausted," stressed Phillips.

Every step Phillips took up Highway 49 was a step for law enforcement officers up and down the Magnolia state.

Long Beach Police Chief Wayne McDowell was there at the start of the 400 mile walk to support his friend.

"For all law enforcement, I'd like to thank Beau for bringing this awareness out," said the chief.

Phillips plan is to lug his backpack and his cart from Gulfport to Southaven. Everywhere he goes, he'll walk up to elected leaders and request better pay and better benefits for men and women who wear a badge.

"Squeaky wheel is going to get oiled first on this one," he thought just before his journey started. "We just need to ask and demand. And hopefully we can get that. And we need to pay our officers more. And that's why I'm doing this."

Phillips' walk for his law enforcement friends should take about three weeks.

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