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Miss. legislators introduce bill to supplement law enforcement salaries statewide

The bill would provide $600 per month to any certified officer who has worked in the state for longer than one year

Mississippi Capitol

Mississippi State Capitol, 2020. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Rogelio V. Solis/AP

By Joanna Putman

JACKSON, Miss. — A new bill proposed in the Mississippi House could provide most law enforcement officers in the state with supplemental pay checks, WLBT reported.

House Bill 745 is intended to help Mississippi sheriffs recruit new officers, according to the report. If passed, the bill would provide $600 per month in supplemental pay to all certified officers who have worked in the state for at least one year.

“If this were to pass, and I’m praying and I’m praying that it does, it will give us something with teeth in the fight to keep our officers home other than just a pat on the back,” said Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten.

According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2022 report, Mississippi law enforcement officers on average are paid the lowest of any U.S. state.

“All of us are losing officers to different states because of the lack of pay. State supplements are not anything new under the sun,” said Patten. “Some of my officers work two and three jobs just to make ends meet. Something like this is well overdue and much needed.”