Former Moss Point law enforcement steps up to ease staffing issues
MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - Lack of pay and promotional opportunities at the Moss Point Police Department equals empty spots.
The department’s former police chief, Calvin Hutchins, said he is stepping up to help because he faced the same staffing issues when he was in charge.
Retired or not, Hutchins explained it’s vital for the brothers in blue to bind together when they’re in need.
“Here in Moss Point you don’t that opportunity to advance, these officers are finding other employment elsewhere. I came back home to the city that I was raised in because I care about the citizens. I’m not coming back for an individual per say, but to do a service,” said Hutchins.
So far, five officers have resigned in June on top of the others this year. However, Police Chief Brandon Ashley wanted to stress that low staffing is an issue facing law enforcement across the county.
“This day and age violent crime is up nationwide, and violent crime is up in this area. To provide adequate police protection, we need certified police officers,” said Ashley.
Mayor Bill Knight said six officers voiced their concerns to him about the department.
Tuesday, the city raised officers pay by two dollars to bring in potential hires as well as become stronger in numbers.
“It’s not only public safety for the community but for the officers themselves. If you don’t have back up the, those guys could get seriously hurt. It’s a public safety issue to me to get more officers on the ground,” said Knight.
However, Hutchins doesn’t want to address the staffing issue on his own. He’s calling more former law enforcement officers to help take stress off cops.
“I solicit help with Chief Ashley. Come become a part of the solution, and not be a part of the problem,” said Hutchins.
The pay raise will go into effect July 1.
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