MHP Special Operations beefing up patrols after E-F3 tornado

PINE BELT, Miss. - If you have been driving downtown near Edwards street and you have seen a lot of Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) Troopers it is all for a good cause.

MHP may catch you for speeding, but their presence in the hard-hit areas is not just for that.

Since the deadly E-F3 tornado January in Hattiesburg and Petal, MHP Special Operations Troopers have made their presence known to help local law enforcement agencies.

Master Sergeant (Sgt.) Marty Davis said, "Security patrol and presence in the affected areas in the neighborhood throughout Hattiesburg."

He continued, "We are in support of Hattiesburg Police department, trying to alleviate some of the pressure off of their department in man-power, as well as police presence, maintain a strong police presence in this community.”

There are around 50 Troopers in the Special Operations group from all over the state and they are trained on disaster type scenarios.

Troopers are helping with traffic control, debris clean-up, and security. Master Sgt. Davis said their goal is to help the community go back to what it was before the twister.

He said, “Its tragic to see what has happened to them during this time of disaster, if we can come in and bring in a little bit of stability, and normalcy, back to their lives, so they can focus on cleaning up, cleaning debris up, and getting their lives back, together, and getting their families back together."

"And that is what we are trying to focus on, and not worry about the crimes, and the further issues that can erupt from it" said Master Sgt. Davis.

With MHP's assistance along with other law enforcement agencies, Master Sgt. Davis said they are happy to report there have been minimal problems.

According to Master Sgt. Davis in the next few days Special Operations Troopers will retreat back to their original stations.

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