Tuesday, June 18, 2024

What Will the Troopers Say Now?

The only constant in life is change, even at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.  Troopers groused last year when DPS Commissioner Sean Tindall opened up MBI Investigator positions to non-troopers a year ago as the troopers thought those were "their" positions as the entitlement mentality permeates their ranks. Fortunately, the Commissioner hired quite a seasoned crew as he deemed experience was more important than trooper school.  The horror. 

MBI hired 12 investigators from law enforcement agencies across Mississippi.  The average new hire served 14 years in law enforcement and 8 years as a criminal investigator.   All hires have Bachelor's degrees while 7 have Master's degrees.  One investigator graduated from the FBI Training Academy while another graduated from the Mississippi Criminal Investigator Program.  5 were women.  Their backgrounds are posted below although the names are redacted.  

The positions pay from $54,000-$65,000.


Prior to this round of hiring, MBI recruited investigators only from the ranks of the Red-Legs even though they have little experience in investigations.  Compare the backgrounds of these new investigators to the comments retirees made on social media: 

I am confused are these people troopers? You mean you can be an MBI agent and not go thru patrol school?????? I am totally confused

this makes no sense to me!! Troopers should come first! This is the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol!! This used to be something people worked for after you had been on the road!!

This is a perfect example of why the Governor shouldn’t appoint people lacking in institutional knowledge of the Department.The structural promotional system throughout the Mississippi Highway Patrol and more importantly the criminal investigation division has long been established. Beginning with renowned Colonial T B Birdsong in 1938 and continuing with pride and professionalism up until the present commissioner without any political interruptions. These eleven positions belong to us, the men a women of the MHP, who have given their sweat and blood in order to serve and protect the citizens of this great State. If any person has a desire to become a criminal investigator for DPS let them obtain proper training and certification just as other troopers had too and just like any other profession such as attorneys are required to do. I believe they are. If anyone knows different correct me.  Deputy Commissioner, Ron Ford, Lt Colonel (Retired)

AMEN colonel. Well said. The patrol is being dismantled as we watch.

Just another step to take power away from the highway patrol. I was a criminal investigator for five years and worked with some of the most highly trained people period. I don’t understand whose agenda this is.

I think it is beyond stupid. Just another power grab from the commissioner.

Guess the powers to be can appoint their Buds now!!!

Bad Move

Sadly we have current Troopers NOT on the 5th floor selling out MHP for their own personal gain to have power and rank. They are too drunk on self indulgence to realize when they get it, they will be over a clown show and not the organization MHP was.

MBI will eventually look just like MBN…it has been the unspoken goal since the first staff meeting I attended with the current commissioner, MHP Colonel, and MBI LTC where I provided objections to separating MBI away from MHP. I do not know a single agent that is not looking for a retirement job offer or a chance to get back to enforcement. This and my definition of poor leadership (textbook) made it perfectly clear for my retirement. I miss many of the officers and agents. Notice the minimum requirements of LEO Academy and 2-4 years experience. I remember when a trooper was not allowed to even be considered for a trooper investigator position (probationary) without 5 years of enforcement experience. That too has been slipping away for the last several years. (KF: Yeah, a trooper writing tickets for five years is more qualified than an 8-year investigator with a degree in Biochemistry focused on Forensic Science. Only in Red-Leg Land does this stupidity make sense.)

that’s exactly how I remember it!! Wgat happened to had to have 5 years of experience. This used to be a position tgat we all worked toward!!!!! But I would never have dreamed you could work for mbi and not go to patrol school!!!!! I am just blown away!!!!

The Commissioner should be commended for opening up investigator positions to experienced investigators from other law enforcement agencies, a tactic corporate America uses all the time.  Hiring experience, what a novel concept but this is Mississippi.   Under Red-Leg logic, a trooper who rides the roads for a few years and makes some felony arrests of the traffic or drugs variety is more qualified than seasoned JPD investigators who work homicides, shootings, and carjackings on a regular basis.  Michael Huff or the late Eric Smith, who knew what a crime scene looks like, would not have been as qualified as Mr. Click It or Ticket.  Um, yeah. 

DPS received 200 applications for the 11 positions.  85 candidates were tested and whittled down to a smaller number for interviews.  This "new" police is standard practice in many other states.  However, don't try to confuse the troopers as traditions mean more than facts.


Anonymous said...

"But, but, when I was hired as a trooper I was promised that I could lateral over to MBI after five years on the road. It's not fair! I'm going to beat up on some speeders!"

Anonymous said...

"Red Legs? You’ll find them up in Kansas. They’re with the Union. And we’re goin’ up there and set things aright."

Anonymous said...

I can understand a trooper aspiring to fill one of these positions, but isn't it a bit like a city police officer hoping to make detective? And don't cities hire detectives both from outside their department as well as inside?

Anonymous said...

Smart move by Tindell ! What investigative experience is the retired Mr Ford speaking that a seasoned investigator coming to MBI would need to get?

Feelin' cute...might write some tickets said...

Red legs? You mean clowns?

Anonymous said...

Now Tindell needs include anyone in the state that carries a gun and badge , all under one roof ! Better info flow.

Anonymous said...

The work of a patrol officer is totally different than an investigative officer. No one has a claim on any position . Hire the best available.

Anonymous said...

That pay is a joke.

Anonymous said...

What is the salary

Anonymous said...


I make the same money working a lower level position at BCBS.

Anonymous said...

To a lot of troopers, their whole life revolves around their patrol school. It is the end all, be all of their existence. If you didn't make it through patrol school, you're a nobody (in the law enforcement world) in their eyes. I've had several trooper friends through the years, from entry level troopers to majors. The guys that have worked at other agencies usually "get it," and understand that there is a LE world outside of the MHP. The old school guys that never worked anywhere else were usually the ones that worshiped the MHP and had very little respect for "inferior" officers at various agencies. This is a good move. Other states have been doing it for years, and have been very successful.

Anonymous said...

Somebody has been stomping grapes...and they are sour...and I smell them.

Sounds to me like all the bitchers and moaners think these jobs should be reserved for THEM as a high-four means to coast right on into PERS retirement.

If you were recruiting for a Medical Examiner, would you look for somebody who had zipped up thirty body-bags or somebody with a medical degree?

It ain't like the switch to your blue-light bar has been deactivated, boys. Cheer Up. You can still 88 at 11:25 on your way to lunch! Just do your damned job and treat the public right and you'll be fine.

Anonymous said...

In all fairness, troopers are not excluded from these positions as far as I can tell.

Concerning the comments about the pay. Don't forget the 13th check for life.

Kingfish said...

Right. They could still apply. The problem is they don't want competition.

Anonymous said...

I worked fora fortune 100 company for over 30 years. One of the things I was most proud of was their policy of promoting from within. You learn a lot by being there

Anonymous said...

Those tears from all that crying nearly ruined my keyboard.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the problem. Hiring based on merit is the only thing that should matter.

If that means internal as 2:08 suggests then great.

I happen to work with several older morons that never learned much but were allowed to sit here untouched for years. Years of service is useless, if those years were utterly fruitless.

People just like to muddy the waters and make things more complicated when they are in fact...not the best candidate.

Smoky On The Road and In The Woods... said...

"You learn a lot by being there"

Right. Like the ropes. But these are not about knowing 'the ropes'.

You shortchange yourself and the agency when you limit the candidate pool to the good-ole-boy club. That's what put this agency in the shitter for sixty years prior to Tindall. Same with Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to look at the compensation packages for the top brass including Tindell. I saw public records that indicate he was making 190k plus and recently hired a Chief of Staff at 170k. The previous Commissioners were under 140k and didnt have all these created posh positions. There were many other positions aside from these that were created within the past 4-5 years making well over 100k.

Anonymous said...

The MHP should be disbanded. It is the laughing stock of every law enforcement agency in the state.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:08 the only problem with MHP promoting from within is you end up with a bunch of people that only had to score 70% in trooper school.

Anonymous said...

The narrow mind of that retired trooper shows. He thought it was a big deal that you had to have five years of experience as a trooper before you could apply to MBI. 99% of troopers with 5 years of experience are still woefully under qualified to be a criminal investigator. MHP is a culture that hurts law enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but still think of MHP as Meter Maids in Patent leather with Churchill Downs hats.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, JUST maybe, MBI will actually investigate police abuse cases objectively in the future because they sure as hell ignored the shit out of the Goon Squad cases and others over the years.

Kingfish said...

MBI did it's job on goon squad case.

Anonymous said...

I know a blonde female that would be great on the MBI. She’s currently asking to do graphic design for your company using clip art. I think she is available.

Anonymous said...

This doesn’t include a highway patrolman, but I had my car in the shop and had a rental with Florida plates. I decided, as long as I had it, I may as well drive it. I drove from Jackson to the casinos north of tunica. I made sure I wasn’t speeding with Florida plates on it. A Tunica county deputy sheriff (who do not have radar) going the other direction turned around and put his lights on me. He said I was doing 75 in a 65.. I showed him my Mississippi drivers license and explained why I had Florida plates. He of course at that point knew his scheme would not work. Maybe that is one of the reasons NOBODY wants to visit the state I have lived in virtually all of my life. POS.

Anonymous said...

Sarcasm 101 , no way she ever works for DPS

Anonymous said...

Thanks for mentioning Eric. He was a great cop.

Anonymous said...

7:00 PM. I don't believe you.

First, he would not have known you had Florida plates when he turned around to blue light you.

Second, regardless of which state you're from, Deputies don't run radar in this state.

Third, you would have had no reason to 'explain why you had Florida plates'. I smell bullshit.

Lastly, if you were at a Tunica casino, you saw at least 50% of the plates were from out of state. The same is true of every casino in this state. And 'nobody wants to visit the state'?

Anonymous said...

3:07 I think you meant Reservoir “Police”(not patrol any more) is the laughing stock.

Anonymous said...

to 3:07........no , not quite...the reservoir patrol hold the title for the laughing stock of ''law inforcement'' with their tattooed little teeny boppers running around with a gun, a badge and a car that goes 140 mph.

that entire agency , the PRVWSD, along with its unelected board and unelected everything else,should be abolished by the legislature, and the property be handed over to madison and rankin counties.

i personally watched one of their teeny boppers testify in court a couple of years ago and she was so ill trained and stupid she did not even what court she was in.

Anonymous said...

Who is going to teach these outsiders how to properly fold their socks if the don’t go through trooper school.

Anonymous said...

@ "These eleven positions belong to us, the men a women of the MHP,"

No sir, you are a big fat liar and not qualified to be a public servant (government employee) anywhere. Those positions belong to the people of the State of Mississippi, and to no one else.

Anonymous said...

KF, the Goon Squad did themselves in by shooting the guy. What about the dozens (or more) which MBI "investigated" and simply sided with the cops? The truth is coming out soon about those....

Anonymous said...

@7:24 - Guess what, genius - That's part of the reason the qualifications and applicant pool are being ramped up.

If you staff up with 'good ole boys' you get 'good ole boys' work product.

Anonymous said...

Most of the troopers are spoiled brats. The legislators constantly give them pay raises while neglecting the other law enforcement divisions within DPS.

The investigation into my family members death was investigated by a trooper and the report was about 5 sentences long with incorrect information. Ask me how many times they actually reached out to me. None!

Anonymous said...

Hoorah! SPQR!

Anonymous said...

Troopers don’t reed and right so well. So investigative reports would definitely not be their strong suite.

Anonymous said...

Great move by the Commissioner.
If you're going to set up MBI as the premier investigative agency in the state, then you should hire the best and brightest investigators from across the state.
In the past a trooper was writing tickets one day, and an investigator the next. No training or experience.
MHP training is so far removed from any type of investigative work I'm amazed it took this long for anyone to see it.
This is a long overdo move. And yes, it did absolutely piss-off the rank and file troopers. MANY viewed MBI as their next move up the DPS ladder.

Anonymous said...

The legislators like to suck up to the troopers to avoid tickets when they speed to/from their districts.

Trooper: "Oh, good morning senator. I didn't recognize you. Have a nice day and I apologize for stopping you."

Anonymous said...

Georgia has GBI which is separate from Georgia State Police. Tennessee has TBI which is separate from the Tennessee Highway Patrol. It’s been far too long for Mississippi to do the same. It’s bad when MBI Agents are considered the “smarter” troopers.

Although the State is doing a dirty little trick by allowing Troopers or MBI Agents (former Troopers) to retire and come back as a 10-99 and double dip.

Anonymous said...

MHP is probably #1 in something, and you know that whatever it probably isn't good!

Anonymous said...

I lost all respect forMHP when they did not
Fire that officer young for retaliating against a citizen

Anonymous said...

@11:42. South Carolina and Florida too. They have SLED and FDLE. Mississippi is one of the few places with such an antiquated state investigative division.

Anonymous said...

Any applicant who takes his short-sleeve shirts to a seamstress to have the sleeves 'taken up' two inches should have his application rejected before the first round of interviews.

They may not be quite as radical, but MHP has its own goon squad.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a few troopers got their feelings hurt because they were promised jobs they knew they weren't qualified for, welcome to the real world! Nobody is entitled to anything.

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