Hinds Community College and the Mississippi Highway Patrol have partnered on a fast track to starting a law enforcement career for those studying Criminal Justice.
Starting in fall 2022, the C.O.R.E. (Candidates on Rapid Entry) program will provide for an MHP officer to be on campus two days a week to assist criminal justice students on physical training and to teach them MHP-related curriculum to better prepare them for patrol school upon successful completion of the one-year program.
“I can’t say how much we are honored Hinds has been made partners in the program,” said Melissa Buie, Academic Dean at the Raymond Campus and Nursing/Allied Health during a signing ceremony April 14. “We believe 100 percent in what MHP does to keep our roads and interstates safe for our citizens.”
Eligible students must enroll in an Associate of Arts program for Criminal Justice, meet with an MHP recruiter and apply for the MHP Preferred Candidate Program, where they must meet core requirements of patrol school, including completing an application and passing a background check.
Hinds is the second community college in the state to partner with MHP on the effort, after first starting the new program at Itawamba Community College.
“We thank you for working with us on this program,” said Sean Tindell, commissioner of MHP. “We want to partner with our education institutions in the State of Mississippi in ways that we can come together and help the future of law enforcement. The program will give students insight into what law enforcement does on a day-in, day-out basis and encourage young people to go on and get that education. We think these are great partnerships.”
Hinds President Dr. Stephen Vacik emphasized the program fits into the community part of the college’s mission.
“We really believe in the community piece of what we’re doing,” Vacik said. “We think this is a way we can serve our community more effectively.” He also noted Hinds’ traditional student base, which covers nearly the entire central part of the state. “I think that gives us an opportunity to help recruit additional folks to serve and reward folks who go the extra mile and do the work and get that educational benefit.”