Law enforcement: Trooper shortage could get worse

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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. -- "We're on call 24 hours a day."

Sergeant Joey Miller of the Mississippi Highway Patrol said he's never sure where he'll be on any given day.

"We're really spread thing," he said.

One of just 328 troopers patrolling Mississippi's thousands of miles of highways, Miller is often responsible for covering multiple counties in a single day.

"DeSoto, Tunica and Marshall County-- why have  one trooper patrolling all three counties at one time?"

That means longer response times to accidents.

In some situations it might also mean that local patrols would have to pick up the slack.

And if it sounds bad now, troopers said it could be a lot worse if the 149 troopers eligible for retirement suddenly decide to leave.

"More than anything right now, we need a Patrol School. We need manpower."