Moss Point Police Officer Terri Maranoci says the hardest part about being a new officer isn't fighting crime. It's having enough money to even begin fighting crime.
"It's very difficult starting off as a first time law enforcement officer trying to get all of your equipment," Maranoci said.
Moss Point Police Department is one of several departments in South Mississippi that requires officers to pay for their own equipment, costing each new officer approximately $700.00.
Right now new officers even have to buy their own firearms. But that will soon change because of a big check the department received from the FBI.
"We appreciate all of your work, and we appreciate the relationship that we have at the FBI safe streets task force with your department," Eileen Roemer, the FBI Supervisor who presented the check to Ricks, said.
Last August, the Moss Point Police Department busted a drug ring and confiscated more than $13,000. Now, $10,000 of that is theirs to keep.
"Currently, the officers purchase their own firearms," Chief Michael Rick said. "And what we're trying to do is get to the point that the city will purchase their firearms, so they will have one standard firearm."
The money is something Officer Maranoci knows will improve the police force in Moss Point.
"It can provide the new officers coming on board with their duty weapon, their duty gear, as well as adequate training for all of our law enforcement officers to provide a better living for our citizens of Moss Point," Maranoci said.