In need of more officers, MSU Police debuting new campus security force

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – The Mississippi State University Police Department announced at the beginning of June that they are looking for more officers to patrol the campus ahead of a school year with more people out and about.

That includes openings for brand new Campus Security Officers.

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“Being short officers puts more stress on the officers that we have here,” says campus Police Chief Vance Rice.

With the removal of more and more COVID-19 precautions, things at Mississippi State are expected to look more normal next semester.

“Especially when it comes to athletic events and other events,” Chief Rice says.

But that creates a problem for the campus police force.

“There are more events than my officers can cover, in most cases,” the chief says.

The MSU Police Department currently has openings for four police officer positions at the Starkville campus and one at the Meridian campus.

But training those officers takes time.

“We want all of our officers to be fully trained before they appear out in public and take any kind of law enforcement action,” Chief Rice says.

MSU Police Officers are required to complete at least three months of training before they can go out on patrol. And that’s only after the officers have gone through their three months at the Police Academy.

“We’re talking February or March before I have an officer on the street,” says Chief Rice.

And the cost of all that training adds up.

“For one officer for five to six years, you know, you’re probably looking at close to $200,000,” the chief estimates.

That’s why this year, MSU PD is looking for eight new Campus Security Officers as a more cost-effective option.

“We’re gonna give them some training but it’s going to be about two months worth of training and it’ll be done right here internally,” says Chief Rice.

The security officers will handle things like responding to door prop alarms and escorting students across campus at night.

“There are many other calls that a security officer can handle, low threat, low priority type calls, that police officers are having to do right now,” Chief Rice says.

Click here for information on applying to work with MSU PD.