BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - There has been a lot of negativity lately towards law enforcement, but despite the way some people feel, there are still many pursing jobs in the field. Mississippi Highway Patrol in Biloxi has recently been assigned nine new troopers.
"We have an extremely dangerous job, and the one time we let our guard down is when we die," MHP Cpl. Benjamin Seibert said.
MHP troopers are tasked with keeping people safe on the roadway. In Seibert's nine years as a trooper, he has learned to do that sometimes it takes putting his life on the line.
"You result back to your training, and that's all you can do is prepare for these situations and go through them so when they happen, you react accordingly," Seibert said.
Brian Parker is one of 48 troopers throughout the state who recently graduated the 20 week highway patrol academy. He is now learning how to take his training and apply it on the street.
"The hardest thing I had to do on the job is a fatality," Parker said. "I just have to remember I'm here to do a job and to hold my composure."
The first 12 weeks on the job, Parker is with a veteran trooper. He started out observing, but now he's in the driver's seat.
"I learned how to make my stops even better, perfecting my stops, perfecting the way I talk to people and the way I treat people," Parker said.
With so much negativity towards law enforcement officers across the country, MHP knows that lesson is more important than ever.
"Safety, courtesy and professionalism on the traffic stops," Lt. Johnny Poulos said. "We instill that in the new troopers so that we try to avoid the issues you usually hear in the media. We have to maintain a positive and mental attitude and go out and do the right thing."
Poulos said it takes the public and officers working together to have a good relationship.
"In Mississippi, I feel like we have an excellent relationship between law enforcement and the public," Poulos said. "It takes both to come together and to try and prevent issues like what we are seeing right now in the media. Have your information readily available, your license and insurance. It slows the process down whenever someone is having to go in their glove compartment and dig around for things. If you have things readily available where the law enforcement officer can check it, then you can proceed on your way."
Poulos said he understands no one likes to get tickets, but for your safety and the safety of officers, he said it is best to discuss any issues or concerns in court.
This is the first time in three years MHP has had an academy. Of the 48 who graduated, nine have been assigned to Troop K in Biloxi.
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