MHP special ops train for missions - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

MHP special ops train for missions

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All 50 members are volunteers, and they can get a call at any moment. All 50 members are volunteers, and they can get a call at any moment.
PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi Highway Patrol's Special Ops Group or "SOG" was created after Katrina, and they're ready to march onto the scene at a wide variety of crisis situations.

"It's based on local department's requests of MHP to come in, and it's happening a lot. Last year, the unit was deployed multiple times, once or twice a month," said Lt. Johnny Poulos, Public Affairs for Mississippi Highway Patrol.

Special ops members were in North Mississippi for the search that led to Adam Mayes and the two young girls he kidnapped. They also rushed to scene of the deadly prison riot in Natchez last year.

All 50 members are volunteers, and they can get a call at any moment. All of them say they carry their equipment in the backseat of their car, just in case.

The 20 to 40 pounds of tactical gear only adds to the usually extreme conditions for SOG.

"It's not very comfortable but it shows the determination and the courage of each of these troopers in wanting to provide that service to the public," explained Poulos.

Thirty of the 50 members are trained in tracking for manhunt scenarios.

"Our's is mainly visual tracking. And once you've been trained in visual tracking, when you get into the woods it looks like an elephant's walked through there. You might not be able to see it, but we can see it," described Lt. Steve Crawford, who is a member of SOG.

They went through several drills, including formations that they would use in a riot situation.

"Each trooper plays a part in the actual formations, whenever they go into these situations. each trooper they play that role in protecting their fellow trooper. And their main mission is to get the situation under control as soon as possible," said Poulos.

Members of the Louisiana State Police were also there for the training Wednesday. They wanted to observe the techniques and equipment used here in Mississippi and see if there is anything they can learn to take back to their mobile field force.

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