Miller says recruiting has struggled in recent years. (Photo source: WLOX News)
As the city grows, so does the need for police. (Photo source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
As the city of Biloxi continues to grow with businesses, residents and events, the need for police is also increasing.
"A few years ago the only event we had to worry about was Mardi Gras, you know, that was our big event. But now we have Cruisin' the Coast, Scrapin' the Coast, Spring Break, Mardi Gras," said Biloxi Police Chief John Miller. "St. Patrick's Day has become a pretty good day for us, and now we have MGM Park and the stadium."
According to Miller, more events means more police presence is needed, but for a number of reasons, recruiting new officers has been a struggle.
"Policemen have been scrutinized quite a bit lately, and I think that's probably not as appealing to a lot of people. And then if you're looking for a career in law enforcement, you can do very well but you're never going to get rich," Miller said.
Miller says despite the good and the bad, wearing a badge is something you just want to do. Officer Christopher Keckler agrees.
"It's my life. I mean it's what I do. It's what I live for," Keckler said.
With more than 20 years of law enforcement experience on the Coast, Keckler says extensive training can be intimidating to those contemplating joining the police force, but that it's necessary to get through various job situations.
"The learning doesn't stop in the classroom. It's a constant learning process. Things change every day and we have to keep up with it," Keckler noted.
Chief Miller says he's hoping to attract more minorities and women to better represent Coast communities.
For more information or how to apply as a Biloxi police officer, click here and select "Application for public safety employment".