BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi Police Chief John Miller is looking to add more officers to his team and has numerous vacancies.
"It will be somewhere between 10 and 12 of the, we think, by the first of next year," Miller said.
In an ideal scenario, Miller would add officers with experience to avoid an extended training time for the new officers.
"If they had to go through the academy it would probably be over a year before we could actually get them on the road by themselves," Miller said.
Chief Miller is taking a proactive approach to recruiting new officers because many of the existing officers are getting close to retirement.
"We figure if things continue to go the way they are that we're going to lose a few more through next year," Miller said. "So once we're over this critical point then we'll be able to bring in fresh rookie officers."
Lt. Milton Houseman is hopeful the recruiting effort will pay off so the force can maintain its level of service.
"If you're trying to work shorthanded then you have to stretch what assets you have, so being shorthanded may reduce the response times," Houseman said. "Sometimes if there's just not enough staff we might not get to those lesser critical calls as quickly as we have in the past."
Biloxi is offering new officers between $36,000 and $42,000 in annual salary. For more information on becoming a police officer in Biloxi visit: https://www.biloxi.ms.us/category/job-postings/.