Sheriffs express ambitions despite state trooper pay raise

WEBSTER/WINSTON COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Officers with the Mississippi Highway Patrol are set to get a salary increase on July 1.

The raise is designed to help attract quality candidates to the department and help keep the troopers already on the job.

But what does that mean for county and city departments that are also trying to attract the best officers, but can’t afford to match the state’s pay scale?

According to the commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, the salary increase was needed to help recruit more officers to join the ranks of the Highway Patrol.

While the raise is helping out law enforcement officers in state agencies, local departments aren’t necessarily getting a pay bump.

Every officer has his or her own reason for serving, and it’s not always about the money.

Sheriff Mike Perkins has a unique perspective.

He said he spent 34 years working for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, but in November he was elected as Winston County’s top law enforcement officer.

For him, it’s about having an opportunity to make a difference in the place where he was born and raised.

“We really care about our hometown and the crimes that are happening here,” Perkins said. “Not just speeding on the highway as a highway patrol does but the crimes, drugs, the violence that we investigate, they care enough about their home county that will make a difference in their own home county.”

Webster County Sheriff, David Gore is also serving in the county where he has lived his entire life.

He said there are reasons for staying close to home other than just the pay.

“You’re going to do a much better job, you’re going to want to stay there if you like working there, if you like your job and enjoy it and you got to make a competitive wage,” Gore said. “So I try to look at it in all of those ways. That was my challenge here to re-work this department and to bring it back to the place that it ought to be. First of all, we got to serve the people and we got to enforce the law.”

In many countries, money is tight, and it’s not always there for pay raises.

Gore said one of the most difficult areas he has to deal with as Sheriff and being involved in the County government is dealing with the budget.

This will be the second pay increase for the Mississippi Highway Patrol since 2020.

For 24/7 news and updates, follow us on Facebook and X

Categories: Featured, Local News